May 21, 2024 - Business

Exclusive: Philadelphia freelancers earning more

Line chart showing annual freelance earnings in the Philadelphia metro area by service offered from 2011 to 2023. Overall, freelancers in Philadelphia earned an estimated $51k in 2023, compared to $39k in 2011. Technical services earned $72k, professional services earned $48k, and creative services earned $24k in 2023.
Data: U.S. Census Bureau via Fiverr; Note: Analysis includes tax returns for non-employers with $1,000 or more in annual receipts; Chart: Axios Visuals

Philadelphia-area freelancers are among the highest-paid in the nation, per 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 succeeding, with 43% reporting a revenue bump last year.

By the numbers: Among the 30 biggest metros, Philly is one of the largest markets for freelancers with more than 124,000 independent professionals in 2023.

  • The city had the 10th highest annual estimated earnings per freelancer in the country, an average of $50,536.
  • The region's freelancers saw their revenues rise 26% on average from 2018-2023, as the independent workforce rose 3%.

What they found: The freelancers seem a generally optimistic bunch, with 55% expecting to earn more this year than last.

  • 29% of freelancers also have traditional jobs, though the share who solely freelance hit 71% in 2023 compared to 61% in 2021.

Zoom in: Philadelphia is among four cities with the largest slice of freelance jobs in "meds and eds," accounting for nearly 13% of all jobs in our regional economy.

  • Our area's freelance market was also one of the most ethnically diverse.

How it works: The report is based on a survey of 801 freelancers conducted Jan. 26-Feb. 7, and data from several government sources and researchers' estimates.

  • Freelance platform Fiverr published the report in partnership with market research firm Illuminas.

Caveat: The report's earnings data is based on individual tax filings. It's "not exactly the same as skilled independent workers but can be considered a good approximation," per the report.


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