Empowering the Freelance Economy

2024 UK freelancer rates revealed

Runar Reistrup, CEO of freelancer job platform YunoJuno
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The much-anticipated YunoJuno annual Freelancer Rates Report for 2024 reveals a resilient freelance market navigating a challenging economic landscape. The report, based on over 98,000 freelance contracts, offers valuable insights into day rates, contract lengths, and industry trends for independent contractors. But which role demands the highest pay?

  • Stable Day Rates: Despite economic challenges, average day rates for freelancers remained stable, with some disciplines even experiencing growth.
  • Top Earners: Strategy, Market Research, and Data emerged as the top-earning fields, with average day rates exceeding £450.
  • Sectoral Variations: Day rates and contract lengths varied significantly across disciplines, with Client Services boasting the longest average project length of 9 weeks.
  • Increasing Demand: Strong growth signifies a rising preference for flexible freelance talent, particularly in a volatile economic climate.

Despite an uncertain economic climate in 2023, average day rates for freelancers remained relatively stable year-on-year, increasing by approximately 0.1% to reach £379 per day. However, significant variations exist across disciplines, with Strategy, Market Research, and Data boasting the highest average day rates at £497, £488, and £473 respectively. Interestingly, project lengths witnessed a slight decrease of 0.8%, averaging 24 working days (just under 5 weeks).

Runar Reistrup, CEO of YunoJuno, said, “The report highlights the adaptability and resilience of the freelance workforce, demonstrating their ability to navigate economic uncertainties. While average day rates remained stable, some sectors did experience adjustments as freelancers and companies adapted to the changing business environment.”

Despite the economic downturn, YunoJuno saw a 60% increase in bookings in 2023, translating to over $1.5 billion in revenue distributed to freelancers through the platform. This surge indicates a growing preference for flexible freelance talent, with companies seeking to optimise their workforce without adding a permanent headcount.

“Freelancers continue to prove themselves as a highly-skilled, adaptable, and resilient segment of the workforce,” Reistrup added. “As companies navigate economic uncertainties, we expect the demand for freelance talent to continue rising, solidifying their position as the future of work.”

  1. Tracy Lucas says

    I find the report interesting but would like to have seen more 5 and 10 year and cross borders comparisons. Also comparison to general wage increases. As a freelancer for over 15 years ( operating globally from the UK) I find the rates in the UK have been pretty much stagnant since 2015 leaving freelancers actually much worse off in real terms, forget the errosion via taxes etc the base rates are not moving in line or even close to perm salary rises, how can we address the fact that companies want freelancers but are prepared to only pay what are in fact vastly reduced real term rates, is this trend here similar in the US and EU? I don’t think anyone has ever expected every 4,5,8% annual rises we see in the perm market but likewise to be offered contracts in 2024 that are the same or less value for effectively more experience than in 2015 is just unsustainable and whilst it might have been a degree of levelling until 2019/20 now it’s is going backwards fast. The upshot is not only about real time reductions in rates, ultimately, it is about reduction in freelancers as more than ever in my quite wide circles at least, are forced to consider perm roles and to leave the freelance market

    1. Ash says

      Agree as a 20yr freelancer. Rates are abysmal and even worse as most are in iR35 in the UK. I Remember starting with a day rate of $350 /day as a PMO analyst, then this went up to $400 and $450/day as a project manager and it stuck at that price for a long time until I moved into Programme management and started to get an average of $500 to 550/day. As an ORACLE independent consultant, I got as much as $800/day in 2000 to 2015,

      The current rates are simply not worth taking up these days, (maybe I was spoiled in the past with good rates, but those rates I felt showed my value and experience), why?…. as a consultant you always got the crappy jobs that no permanent employee wanted and those that tried failed dismally. .Only an experienced consultant could rescue it and use innovative solutions to get it delivered that now permanent employees would have.

      As a consultant, we have the breadth and depth of knowledge to give the best chance to deliver for our clients. These days cliants simply do not recognise this fact.

      My thinking is the government wish it this way, they do not want too many contractors and if you are they will punish you. In the past, there was a risk in getting caught under iR35, but if you were wise you could put in mitigation strategies just in case the government comes for you. Now you got now choice the NI is taken out at source from the invoice. Then if you run a limited company you are taxed again on the funds you hold each year in the company under company tax and again in the dividend. So the government treats you like an employee on one hand and than also treats you like a company on the other hand. You are taxed 3 to 4 times and if you die they will tax you on inheritance tax.

      The King never had it so good as he did not pay tax with his family.

      My point is this report is total nonsense, They think $450 is a great rate and I consider it under par. This is not just me, my fellow consultant friends also think the same. This report is yet another work of fiction and your comment and my comment shows it up for what it is.

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