Millennials rule freelancing as pay, satisfaction levels improve: study

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 20 2020 04:54 PM

MANILA – Majority of freelancers working in the gig economy are millennials who are quick to adapt to a new work set-up and seek work-life balance, a study released Friday by financial and payment platform Payoneer showed. 

Close to 70 percent of freelancers are under the age of 35 while 21 percent are under 21, according to Payoneer’s Freelancer Income Report which surveyed 7,000 individuals in 150 countries.

In the Philippines, 67 percent of freelancers are below 35, it said. Millennials are those born between 1981 and 1996, while Gen-Z are those born between 1997 and 2012, it said. 

“It should not come as a surprise that young workers are quick to embrace these fresh opportunities and lead the freelancer movement,” the study said. 

Those working exclusively as freelancers earn a higher hourly rate and are more satisfied with their lifestyle, the study showed. 

However, when it comes to salary, Filipinos earn lower with an hourly rate of $10 in 2020 from $9 in 2018, compared to the global hourly average of $21.

“Dedication to freelancing pays off. Those who work exclusively as freelancers earns a higher hourly rate and are more satisfied with their lifestyle compared to those who split their time working for a company,” the study said. 

Experience is a “major factor” when it comes to hourly rates. More experienced freelancers over the age of 55 earn more than twice as much compared to their 18 to 24 year-old counterparts, it said. 

“Competence” also trumps having an advanced degree when it comes to earnings, the study showed. 

Freedom to work from home and flexible working hours are the two main reasons for joining the gig economy, respondents said. 

At least 83 percent of the respondents work from home, while 17 percent said they work from alternate locations such as co-working spaces, coffee shops or libraries.

Based on the global survey, the most popular field of work for freelancing is web and graphic design, followed by programming and IT. 

Women’s participation in the gig economy is slowly increasing while female freelancers earn on average 84 percent of men’s earning across all fields, the study showed. 

Social media, the global market place and online payment platforms equip freelancers with tools needed to further their careers, Payoneer said. 

“Obstacles that could slow or hinder freelancer’s ability to grow, connect, and be successful have been removed. It is our mission to offer financial services that make it simple for all parties to take advantage of flourishing global opportunities,” said Payoneer CEO Scott Galit

Freelancing “is a pathway to greater job satisfaction” and for many, a key to achieving a healthier “work-life balance,” Payoneer said.