The Labor Day weekend got off to a dubious start with Friday’s news that the nation’s unemployment rate crept higher in the month of August. But the number of online freelancers also continues to rise, and a new report from Elance indicates that the growth is due more to lifestyle choices than the jobless rate.
The world’s leading platform for online work recently published the Freelance Talent Report, in which 70 percent of respondents stated that they are happier working as independent professionals than as employees. Only a slightly lower percentage, 63 percent, said that they would choose or have chosen freelancing over traditional employment. Supporting those numbers is the fact that freelancers working through the Elance online platform have earned $300 million in wages.
Other findings from the survey include the following:
• 79 percent of the participants said that having control over their own schedules was the best thing about freelancing
• 71 percent said that they find at least 50 percent of their clients or their work online
• 63 percent said that finding new clients and steady work is their biggest challenge (lack of benefits was next at 49%)
• 50 percent said that freelancing is their sole source of income while 28 percent indicated that freelancing was a supplement to their incomes.
Other qualities of freelancing that rated highly with the participants included following their passion (74%), lack of a commute (73%) and increasing their income (62%). Elance, which helps businesses find qualified freelance and contract talent with technical, marketing and business skills, surveyed 700 of its freelancers for the survey.