Average freelancer pay falls as global market grows

 In Contractors & Freelancers

Average freelancer pay is falling as the global market for self-employed workers grows, according to new research from Oxford University.

What does the Oxford University study tell us about average freelancer pay?

During 2014-2015, the average hourly rate for freelancers was $21 (approximately £13.40). Today, average freelancer pay has fallen to $19 per hour.

A second study from Payoneer identified how broad freelancer pay-rates can be. 57% of survey respondents work for less than $15 per hour, while 14% charge over $30.

Age was found to be a major factor in this. Freelancers aged 24 or under typically charge around $16 per hour, while those aged 60+ charge $27.

Why is the freelancer market moving in this way?

Two primary factors appear to be powering this shift: age, as just mentioned, and location.

One unexpected finding was that over half of the freelancers surveyed were under the age of 30. Conversely, just 6% of freelancers worldwide are aged 50+.

This implies that freelance rates have declined, at least in part, due to the decreasing age of the average freelancer.

Possibly an even bigger factor is the current distribution of freelance labour. India and Bangladesh are now the biggest suppliers of freelance workers, despite North America being the largest market.

As digital technology continues to channel freelance work towards regions with lower pay rates, this trend looks set to continue. However, freelancers should take heart that their services appear to be more in demand than ever.

Call on 3 Wise Bears for more expert freelancer accountancy advice.

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