Half of working adults will freelance by 2020

Half of the working population in the UK will be engaging in some sort of freelance career by 2020, a new study predicts.

Even today, the self-employed part of the labour market is growing at a rate of 3.5% per year – faster than any other sector, says the study - The Evolution of the On-demand Economy.

Should this growth continue for the next five years, the implication is that half of the working population will be self-employed freelancers by 2020, said Peopleperhour, the study’s author.

Another implication is that the bills of SMEs and micro-businesses are set to fall significantly, as hiring freelancers could already be saving them up to £6,297 a year, the study says.

Workers who are ‘hyper-specialists’ – offering a niche within a niche – were positioned as the biggest revenue-savers for SMEs, as such workers were said to be able to cut SMEs’ “transactional costs” by up to 75%.

“This trend [of hyper-specialism] is enabling micro or small and mid-sized enterprises to realise tremendous gains through improved market efficiencies, lower transactions costs and higher quality outputs.

“Likewise, this rapidly growing section of freelance labour is enabling firms to ramp labour capacity up or down based [on] bursts in demand at that time, or project scope,” the site said.

Web Development/Mobile emerged as the highest growth hyper-specialisation category, as jobs on Peopleperhour in this area are 38 times more common in 2015 than they were in 2007.

Web/Mobile is also unbeaten in the project completion stakes, taking an average of just 3.3 days to finish – the same as Design projects but faster than Writing and Marketing projects.

“On-Demand services are being required more and more,” reflected Peopleperhour founder Xenios Thrasyvoulou . "Speed and accessibility are today’s buzzwords and it’s no different when making recruitment decisions. It is literally a whole new economy in the making. It’s the future.”


26th June 2015

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