Payoneer Study Finds Freelance Workers Benefited From Surge in Demand and Increased Pay Amidst Ongoing Pandemic

  • Payoneer’s 2022 Global Freelancer Income Report reveals that the worldwide average hourly freelance rate has increased nearly 40% compared to its previous edition in January 2020

Payoneer, the commerce technology company powering payments and growth for the new global economy, today issued the fourth edition of its Freelancer Income Report. The report is based on a survey of 2,000 freelancers from over 100 countries and provides insight into how they have fared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While global unemployment reached historic highs triggered by the pandemic, freelancers have weathered the disruption relatively well. More than 30% of respondents reported higher demand for their services since the pandemic began, while 45% reported that demand stayed constant without slowing. The fields of programming, marketing, and finance showed the strongest growth.

“As the nature of the workforce becomes more fluid, more businesses are realizing the value of a flexible resource they can call upon when needed”

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The report’s findings include:

Significant Increase in Global Hourly Freelance Rate

Compared with the previous report two years ago, there has been an increase in the average global hourly freelancing rate. Findings show the global average hourly freelance rate is now $28, significantly higher than the $21 average hourly rate reported in the 2020 Global Freelancer Income Report. With 40% of freelancers reporting that they are now charging more for their services than they did at the start of the pandemic, and demand continuing to rise, the opportunity for freelancers to succeed has never been greater. Younger freelancers were the biggest benefactors, reporting both an increase in hourly rates, and in demand.

Gender Pay Gap Persists, with a Silver Lining

The report highlights that the gender wage gap has unfortunately widened slightly since 2020. While there has been an increased number of women entering the world of freelancing, women freelancers’ pay remains behind their male counterparts, with that gap growing over the past two years. The gender pay gap amongst survey respondents is most pronounced in North America, with women reporting earnings of $37 per hour on average, compared to men who reported an average of $52 per hour. Indeed, women reported earning less than men in every region of the 100 countries surveyed apart from South America, where women out-earn their male counterparts by $4/hour, likely influenced by the higher paid industries that are more in demand in these regions.

Freelancing Offers Greater Opportunities for Women

As confirmed by research from the World Economic Forum, the pandemic has set back women’s progress in the global workforce overall, in regard to both earnings and employment opportunities. However, one of the more optimistic findings from Payoneer’s report is that women’s participation in the freelance workforce continued to gain momentum and increased from 24% in the 2020 Global Freelancer Report to 29% in the 2022 report. Indeed, a less promising employment market may have opened the door for more women to enter the digital freelancing economy. In addition, women reported higher levels of satisfaction than their male counterparts, revealing the ongoing potential for freelancing to offer women an attractive alternative to the traditional workforce.

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“As the nature of the workforce becomes more fluid, more businesses are realizing the value of a flexible resource they can call upon when needed,” said Robert Clarkson, Chief Revenue Officer at Payoneer. “At the same time, more workers are realizing that freelancing is a career path which pays well, offers greater flexibility and is open to skilled professions including finance, marketing and programming. The freelance economy empowers individuals from anywhere in the world to set their own hours, rate, and work in roles that best suit their skill set, while taking advantage of a variety of opportunities. We’re thrilled to partner with these small businesses that are the backbone of the global economy, and help them access the resources and tools they need to realize their potential.”

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