May 21, 2024 - Business

💰 Chart du jour: PDX's freelance workforce

Line chart showing annual freelance earnings in the Portland metro area by service offered from 2011 to 2023. Overall, freelancers in Portland earned an estimated $40k in 2023, compared to $31k in 2011. Technical services earned $49k, professional services earned $42k, and creative services earned $26k in 2023.
Data: Fiverr via Census Bureau. Note: Analysis includes tax returns for non-employer entities with at least $1,000 in annual receipts. Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Portland freelancers in tech, creative, legal and other professional services saw nearly 30% revenue growth in the past decade, according to a new report by freelance platform Fiverr and market research firm Illuminas.

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 bump in revenue last year.

By the numbers: Portland is the 24th-largest metro area for independent professionals among the top 30 freelance markets, with an estimated 62,000 freelancers in 2023.

  • All together, they earned an estimated $2.5 billion in revenue last year.

The intrigue: According to Fiverr, Portland is also a "big tech center" — up there with San Jose and Seattle — where technology freelancing opportunities are plenty and workers tend to be highly educated, more diverse and relatively younger.

  • Technical freelancers brought in an average of $49,300 in earnings in 2023 — $20,000 more than independent creatives.

What they did: The report is based on data from several government sources, researchers' estimates and a survey of 801 freelancers conducted between January and February this year.

Caveat: The report's earnings data is based on individual tax filings as a "good approximation" for freelancers.

  • Some freelancers may be involved with more than one tax entity, while others may work together on a business that counts as a single tax entity.

Go deeper: America's freelance capitals ranked


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