Survey finds an increased number of freelance workers, income

A survey commissioned by two of the city’s largest freelancing associations found that the number of independent contractors is growing and making more of a living.

The Freelancers Union and Upwork’s commissioned study said about 34% of the workforce are freelancers, and it saw a jump of 700,000 workers in the last year. About 23% of freelancers left a full-time job to do independent work and of that cluster, 60% are making more money on their own, according to the survey.

“As we’re seeing traditional jobs not offer things like pensions and other things that were desirable. People will turn to freelancing and find it the better option,” said Sara Horowitz, the executive director of the Freelancers Union.

About 2,429 freelancers and 4,678 non-freelancers took part in the survey, which was released Thursday, between July 30 and Aug. 14 and the study has a margin of error of ± 1.16%.

New York has the most members in both the Freelancers Union and Upwork, and the heads of both associations say demand for independent contract work has shot up in the city over the last few years. Stephane Kasriel, Upwork’s CEO, said one of the interesting facts from the survey was that half of freelancers wouldn’t quit independent work and take a traditional job.

“People are satisfied with freelancing and they’re doing more of it,” he said. “It’s a strong preference and will get bigger.”

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