Freelancers in Dallas—and across the state of Texas—are thriving more so than the rest of the country, even despite the challenges that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.
Newly released data from Fiverr International, an online marketplace that hosts paid gigs to ‘change how the world works together,’ shows that Dallas has one of the largest shares of independent worker revenues coming in from those who provide professional services. The city came in at No. 7 for both population (158,490) and revenue compared to the other top 30 markets.
In all, Texas’ skilled freelancers have fared well. Dallas, Austin, and Houston have a combined 2020 projected revenue of more than $15.6 billion from their independent workers. Dallas alone expects nearly $6.6 billion, more than either Austin or Houston.
That comes amidst census data showing Texas had a 16 percent surge in population, adding some 4 million new residents. Fiverr said its findings mirror the state’s massive growth.
The data was summarized in Fiverr’s fourth annual Freelance Economic Impact Report, a comprehensive study that identifies and profiles the largest U.S. markets for skilled freelancers. Fiverr partners with market research firm Rockbridge Associates to analyze secondary data sources, like the U.S. Census Bureau, to determine each metro’s size and revenue.
“2020 has been a challenging year but also one that propelled the digital workforce to heights we never could have imagined,” Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman said in a statement. “For skilled freelancers, the pandemic exacerbated the difference between those that, up until now, had chosen to work offline, and those that had opened their eyes to online opportunities.”
Based on more than 20 million tax returns, the Nonemployer Statistics series revealed that there are more than 6 million freelancers across the country. They work in creative, technical, or professional positions, and earned around $234 billion in total last year.
The data shows that this type of work is here to stay, according to Fiverr—even in a post-pandemic world. Amidst a time of high unemployment, people are turning to the self-employed gig economy as a viable source of income. As Kaufman puts it, “the numbers don’t lie.”
More than 63 percent of skilled freelancers say their industry wasn’t impacted during COVID. Six in ten saw the same, or more, money in 2020 than before the pandemic. And, 75 percent are believe there’s a prosperous future for this type of work.
It’s no longer a segment of the workforce that can be ignored, Kaufman says.
The draw is often the freedom and flexibility to live wherever, Fiverr notes. It’s the same trend that succeeded the work from home and “work from wherever” movement.
Nearly all (92 percent) say their community has high-speed internet available, making for an attractive hub to work. And, 76 percent of skilled independents live near their clients.
“Skilled freelancers are highly satisfied with their independent work, more so than the traditionally employed, contributing to their optimism for the future and grit through the adverse economic conditions of last year,” Hilary Ross-Rojas, the research director at Rockbridge Associates, said in a statement. “They have big plans for the post-pandemic future, with new marketing and offerings and more training and education to support their business expansion.”
You can find explore data from the Freelance Economic Impact Report here.
The top 30 cities, in order of fastest-growing by population for skilled independents, are: Orlando, FL; Nashville, TN; Miami, FL; Austin, TX; Tampa, FL; Las Vegas, NV; Charlotte, NC; Dallas, TX; Portland, OR; Houston, TX; Riverside, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Denver, CO; Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA; San Diego, CA; Seattle, WA; New York, NY; Sacramento, CA; Washington, D.C; Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; St. Louis, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Boston, MA; San Francisco, CA; Detroit, MI; Chicago, IL; San Jose, CA; and Minneapolis, MN.
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