There’s been some encouraging news about freelance earnings this week.
According to an analysis conducted by the University of Westminster Business School, freelance earnings have seen strong growth over the past five years. Meanwhile, average hourly rates have remained relatively stagnant for employed staff – not rising enough to provide a meaningful increase once rising living costs are taken into account.
Looking at the figures, which were calculated using data from the PeoplePerHour job board, freelancers typically earn an average hourly rate of GB£20.73 (around US$27). This is 36% more than the average rate for an employed staff member in the UK.
Furthermore, that rate increased by nearly 27% in the five years to 2015, while traditional “wages” only rose by 4.52%
Put in terms of an hourly “pay rise,” this means the average salaried worker only saw their rate go up by 66 pence (85 cents) over those five years. But freelancers saw an average hourly increase of £5.47 ($7.08).
It’s important to note that these figures are specific to the UK market, and are also only averages. However, while statistics don’t always provide the full picture, this does make it clear that many freelancers have seen far more of a boost to their income in recent years than their counterparts in full-time jobs.
(Editors Note: For those working in the UK, it’s also fair to point out that changes to flat rate VAT and dividend tax may well have seen some higher freelance earnings cancelled out by higher taxes).
The Freelance Future
This report is obviously good news for freelancers, and something of a sweetener to balance out the various uncertainties and insecurities they have to constantly deal with.
It may also act as encouragement for those who would like to try the home working life, but haven’t yet dared to make the jump. (This article will help people struggling with the decision).
By 2020, it’s expected that one in every two people will be freelancers in some form. This means big life changes for a great many people, and far fewer comfortable, low-risk jobs.
Thankfully, there’s also more and more news of large companies starting to hire freelancers. The “gig economy” is booming – and is set to become part of life for far more people.
So, if you’re already reading the content on this website you’re a step ahead of the game; If you’re already a freelancer you’re even further out in front!
For more information about starting out as a freelancer, check out our Ultimate Guide to Home Working Freedom – and make sure you sign up to our newsletter below, so you can hear the latest news and opportunities.