May 29, 2024 - News

A look at Metro Detroit's freelance market

Line chart showing annual freelance earnings in the Detroit metro area by service offered from 2011 to 2023. Overall, freelancers in Detroit earned an estimated $37k in 2023, compared to $32k in 2011. Technical services earned $51k, professional services earned $36k, and creative services earned $20k in 2023.
Data: Census Bureau via Fiverr; Note: Analysis includes tax returns for non-employer entities with at least $1,000 in annual receipts; Chart: Axios Visuals

When it comes to the number of freelance workers, Metro Detroit ranks 17th out of the 30 biggest metro areas with nearly 81,000 people in 2023, according to a new Fiverr report.

The big picture: Freelancers account for 4.1% of the U.S. labor force, per the report — and many seem to be finding success, with 43% reporting a revenue bump last year.

By the numbers: Metro Detroit freelancers made an estimated average of $37,335 in 2023. Those in creative fields made an average of $19,972 while those in technical fields made $51,342.

Context: The report, which freelance platform Fiverr published in partnership with market research firm Illuminas, is based on data from several government sources, researchers' estimates and a survey of 801 freelancers conducted between Jan. 26 and Feb. 7, 2024.

  • Fiverr's "independent professional" category includes creative, technical and professional roles outside of traditional employment: architects, web developers, legal services, artists, video producers and accounting roles, for example.

Friction point: Concerns about companies embracing generative AI are particularly pronounced among freelancers, many of whom are in creative fields and, with no strong ties to any particular employer, may feel especially vulnerable to being replaced with the emerging technology.

What they're saying: "We are in our seventh year of putting this report together, and year over year, we see more and more people choosing the freelance lifestyle," writes Fiverr founder and CEO Micha Kaufman.

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