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Freelancing in America

What is it measuring?

This survey counts the number of workers who engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work at any point in the past 12 months. It also asks a wide range of questions about the outlooks, experiences, satisfaction, and challenges of these workers.

What does it tell us?

35 percent of the workforce had engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work in some capacity in the past 12 months, totaling 56.7 million people and representing 7 percent growth since 2014.

The report linked below contains responses about workers' experiences, outlooks, and challenges.

How is it collected?

Through an online survey administered by Edelman Intelligence, with 6,001 respondents who had done paid work in the past 12 months. Responses were weighted demographically to represent the population.

Who collects it?

The Freelancers Union, an advocacy organization for independent workers, and Upwork, an online freelancing platform, have commissioned Edelman Intelligence to conduct the annual survey since 2014.

Considerations

The survey has a particularly broad time frame for engagement in independent work, including any activity that has been done in the past year. It also includes some vague questions, leaving respondents to rely on their own interpretations of terms like "full-time." Online surveys, in addition, are unlikely to be fully representative of the population.

How to access this data?

Privately held by Freelancers Union and Upwork

Reports

Freelancing in America: 2018; 2018; Edelman Intelligence; Freelancers Union and Upwork;