The interwebz have opened out a more common, level playing field in the global market. This is changing the landscape of freelance economy. I’ve come to firmly believe these trends in freelancing would radically reshape the approach towards “work.”
These online labor exchanges with cloud workforce are helping several businesses thrive without having to worry about scaling.
The Top Contenders
The US currently has the highest number of freelance projects – worth 715 billion USD. The number of freelancers stands at staggering 55 million individuals. For outsourced work, Australia is 2nd. India comes 2nd with the highest number of freelancers.
UK is also a major player, with 1.5 million freelancers, and a 21 billion GBP economy thriving on this model.
So, Where Is The Industry Headed With Such Trends In Freelancing?
The US has a 34% freelance workforce now. Freelancers are projected to rise to 40% thus constituting about 90 million Americans by 2020.
A survey in 2014 by the Economic Times reported that the working-age population in India would be 60% by 2020. That’s a whopping 840 million people. The freelancers constitute a mere 15 million people as of 2014. This is set to quadruple by 2020 with a steady rise growth rate. That means at least 60 million Indian freelancers would be in the market. That’s about 7 – 7.5% of the entire Indian working force.
This sharp incline in the freelancing workforce would mean India is likely even to get past the world leader – the US, before 2025, in their freelancing capacities.
Too Much Math There. So, Let’s English It
Donald Trump can only stop work that’s getting Bangalored through multinationals; but not the ones that are going out of the US economy in the form of freelance gigs. Freelancing in the US will be a trillion dollar business industry the next half decade.
Indian freelancers are likely to be a major force influencing the market dynamics. Because, wage difference! A top rung freelancer in India offers the same services at a quarter price that freelancers from other first-world countries charge.
The competitive prices make many small, and even bigger businesses involuntarily work with the Indian counterparts as against a freelancer from the West.
A Counter-Balancing Ecosystem
There are smaller enterprises that bid for big projects from their roster of clients and have independent freelancers work on them. Such trends in freelancing have given rise to startups hiring qualified Quality Control Managers and running teams to get other freelancers to work for them.
The diverse nature of the freelance workforce provides the businesses options to work with the freelancer who fits their budget and caliber, making the environment autonomous.
The Rise Of The Freelancer Economy
Most government laws currently across the world are not freelancer-friendly, but things are getting better. To protects freelancers against wage theft, the State of New York recently passed a first-of-a-kind legislation “Freelance Isn’t Free Act”. The boom in the freelancing workforce would soon force the governments to bring in legislation to protect freelancer rights.
Freelancing is spreading its roots across all hierarchies and in industries that run the world, and making it extremely conducive to success. Being a freelancer myself, watching and growing in this freelance economy is just enormously satisfying.