Empowering the Freelance Economy

Gen Z sees freelancing as stable career choice following mass corp layoffs

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A recent Fiverr survey reveals a significant trend: Gen Z, witnessing the waves of corporate layoffs, is increasingly turning to freelancing as a viable career path. This shift, however, extends beyond just one generation, and points towards a potential future where self-employment becomes a defining characteristic of the global workforce.

  • Freelancing is becoming a more attractive career path for Gen-Zers for 2024 and beyond.
    – Almost 70% of total Gen Z respondents are actively freelancing or plan to do so in the future.
    – Nearly 40% of Gen Z freelancers are currently or willing to work full-time while 30% in a part-time capacity.
    – 12% of Gen Z freelancers work in-between jobs or to build experience and skills. 

  • Comfort and financial security remain the top priority for Gen-Zers.
    – 44% of global Gen Z respondents desire to be financially comfortable as part of their larger career ambition; nearly 20% want to retire early.
    – A quarter of Gen-Zers want to own their own business while 14% want to freelance for their entire careers.
    – Nearly 30% of respondents want to travel for work and work from wherever they want.
  • Over 70% of US Gen Z responders are thinking more about freelancing compared to last year
    – 10% of respondents said they were let go and another 14% said they’re afraid to
    – Nearly 25% of Gen Z respondents now believe that freelancing is more stable than a traditional full-time job.
    – Almost ⅕ (18%) of Gen Z responders think being a freelancers make them less likely to be replaced by AI, thus immune to AI displacement.

The survey highlights a growing appeal of freelancing for stability – 38% of US respondents believe it safeguards them from layoffs, while 25% see it as more stable than traditional jobs. This perception, coupled with Gen Z’s existing desire for flexibility and autonomy, is driving the surge in freelance interest. Notably, over 70% of US Gen Z respondents are now considering freelancing, compared to just last year.

This trend transcends borders. The report suggests a global rise in freelancing, with a 3% point increase in the number of Gen Z respondents planning to freelance compared to the previous year. This indicates a potential paradigm shift in how work is perceived and approached, with individuals seeking greater control over their careers and income.

Governments around the world would be wise to acknowledge and embrace this shift rather than attempt to stifle it. Here’s why:

  • Economic adaptability: Freelancing fosters a more adaptable and resilient workforce, able to adjust to changing economic landscapes. This can be crucial in the face of rapid technological advancements and evolving market demands.
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship: A thriving freelance ecosystem fosters innovation and entrepreneurship, as individuals with diverse skillsets come together to form project-based teams. This can lead to the creation of new businesses and the generation of fresh ideas.
  • Tax revenue and economic growth: While concerns about tax revenue from traditional employment models may arise, a well-regulated freelance market can still contribute significantly to the economy. Freelancers often pay various taxes, and their work can indirectly contribute to economic growth by stimulating demand for various services and goods.

The rise of freelancing, particularly in the wake of job insecurity, presents a unique opportunity for individuals and governments alike. By embracing this shift and fostering a supportive environment for self-employed individuals, nations can position themselves to thrive in an increasingly dynamic and globalised world.

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