The Future of Work Is Here: Freelance Economy Offers Unparalleled Opportunity for Growth; Moves to Close the Gender Pay Gap

Payoneer’s 2020 Global Freelancer Income Report reveals changing demographics and motivations driving today’s Gig Economy Workforce

NEW YORK--()--Payoneer today issued its Freelancer Income Report based on a survey of over 7,000 freelancers from 150 countries, providing new insight into the world of freelancers, their motivations and how this unique workforce empowers global collaboration by connecting top talent with businesses anywhere in the world. The report tells the story of an ambitious and courageous workforce that is unwilling to settle for the status quo. Freelancing’s popularity is attributed to the potential for greater job opportunity, independence, higher incomes and a promising move in the direction of wage equality.

Today’s gig economy – powered by social media, global marketplaces and online payment platforms – equips the global workforce with all the tools needed to chart their own career path, leveraging a freelance work lifestyle to build a full-time career, a “side-hustle” or even just extend their career post-retirement.

“The freelancing economy has grown exponentially over the past decade, and I believe we can now firmly say that the future of work has arrived. Obstacles that could slow or hinder freelancers’ ability to grow, connect and be successful have been removed,” said Scott Galit, CEO, Payoneer. “Freelancers from all walks of life and every corner of the world are empowered to acquire work, set their own wages, market their skills, and get paid how and when they want. It’s our mission to take the complexity and anxiety out of international business for all parties, offering financial services that make it simple for people to take advantage of flourishing global opportunities, and to be a catalyst for businesses to easily acquire the best talent wherever they are and without borders.”

The report details the vast opportunities freelancers have at their fingertips, including:

The Bright Young Future for Freelancers

The freelance workforce is overall very young, with nearly 70 percent of freelancers surveyed being under the age of 35, and 21 percent are under the age of 25. This youth movement is even more pronounced in Asia where 82 percent of respondents are under 35, compared to North America where the number is still high but closer to 47 percent.

Across the board, workers at the beginning and end of their careers are most likely to be exclusively freelancing, whereas the promise of a stable paycheck and the sense of security that comes with it seems to drive workers to seek a company job while raising a family. While more experienced workers command top pay, that gap could close in the future as freelance opportunities provide those with fewer years of experience the ability to sharpen and hone their crafts. Additionally, education does not necessarily correlate with high earnings for freelancers, as those with bachelor’s degrees do not demand higher fees than those without, indicating that the future of work values reviews, references and a rich portfolio as much as traditional educational achievements.

How Job Satisfaction is Unlocked with Income Opportunity

While freelancers find value in freedom and flexibility of being their own boss, happiness is most tightly correlated with income earned. The worldwide average hourly rate charged by freelancers is $21, higher than the $19 average rate reported in Payoneer’s 2018 survey and significantly higher than the average salaries in many of the countries surveyed. Those individuals who work exclusively in freelancing earn a higher hourly rate and are more satisfied with their lifestyle compared to those who split their time working for a company. While freelancers are earning more, businesses are also benefitting by being able to source top-talent without concern for location or overhead costs, increasing satisfaction on both sides of the relationship.

Important Steps Toward Wage Equality

One of the more optimistic findings from the report is that women’s participation in the freelance workforce has been gaining momentum and the average wage for females is leaps and bounds ahead of the greater workforce. Female freelancers earn on average 84 percent of men’s earnings across all fields, and while there is room for improvement, the gap is much smaller than the 64 percent average for all workers reported by the World Economic Forum. However, there are industry-specific nuances, and fields exist where the gender gap remains pronounced, including finance and project management fields. That said, women earn more than men in marketing and web and graphic design.

“Freelancing is booming around the world, driven by the growing global generational shifts,” said Eyal Moldovan, General Manager, Payoneer. “Millennials and Gen Z crave independence and broad, new opportunities with a whopping 54 percent in developed countries starting or planning to start their own businesses. Moreover, 64 percent of those that currently have full time jobs welcome the chance to earn more and broaden their skillsets. Meanwhile, older generations find freelancing a way to stay relevant, and to keep their skills sharp in a world where technology trends and tools change in the blink of an eye. Overall, both freelancers and companies benefit, and what once seemed a novel pursuit has redefined the very nature of the workforce.”

For the full report, please download: The 2020 Freelancer Income Report

About Payoneer:
Payoneer’s mission is to empower businesses to go beyond – beyond borders, limits and expectations. In today’s digital world, Payoneer enables any business of any size from anywhere to access new economic opportunities by making it possible to transact as easily globally as they do locally.

Payoneer’s digital platform streamlines global commerce for millions of small businesses, marketplaces and enterprises from 200 countries and territories. Leveraging its robust technology, compliance, operations and banking infrastructure, Payoneer delivers a suite of services that includes cross-border payments, working capital, tax solutions, merchant services and risk management. Powering growth for customers ranging from aspiring entrepreneurs in emerging markets to the world’s leading digital brands like Airbnb, Amazon, Google and Upwork, Payoneer makes global commerce easy and secure. Founded in 2005, Payoneer is profitable and has a team based all around the world.

Payoneer - one world, one platform, endless opportunity.


Cori Kendrick

Release Summary

Payoneer's global freelancer report sheds light on the burgeoning trend of gig work and what drives the lifestyle for millions around the world.


Cori Kendrick