Rising Cost of Living Is Leading to Collaborative Growth Opportunities for SMBs, Freelancers, Survey Reveals

New research from Payoneer (NASDAQ: PAYO) shows almost half (46%) of surveyed freelancers around the world “have seen an increase in demand for their work from global businesses compared to 2021, and over half (55%) have taken on more work in response to the rising costs of living.”

Payoneer, the financial technology company empowering the world’s small businesses to transact, do business and grow globally, has “published findings from its 2023 Freelancer Insights Report.”

The fifth edition of Payoneer’s annual report “contains responses from over 2,000 freelancers across 122 countries, detailing the continued rise in demand for their services as businesses to continue to outsource services to cut costs.”

The Covid-19 pandemic “accelerated the freelance revolution with people wanting to seize the flexibility and opportunities in the new world of global digital commerce and small businesses increasingly looking to utilize their services.”

Payoneer’s annual freelancer survey is “a temperature check of the global freelancer economy and the businesses that hire them, looking at areas such as demand for services, sector growth, response to macroeconomic pressures and wellbeing.”

The survey shows “that demand for freelance work continues to trend up, continuing the trend that was seen at the start of the pandemic.”

Despite the fears of a global economic slowdown, respondents are “seeing an increasing demand from digital businesses looking to augment teams as they grow across borders.”

The key findings from the 2023 Freelancer Insights Report include:

  • Almost half (46%) of the surveyed freelancers around the world report that they have seen an increase in demand for their work from the global businesses that hire them compared to 2021.
  • Over half (55%) also report that they have taken on more work in response to the rising costs of living compared to 2021. Freelancers are taking action, with 41% raising their rates and 32% expanding to new geographies.
  • 73% of respondents identified finding new clients as their biggest challenge.

As noted in the update, the fields of programming, marketing, project management, and web design “saw the most significant increases in demand over the past year.”

The gender pay gap is “narrower in freelance work, but men are still more likely to charge higher rates.”

Women are 8% less likely “to increase their rates and men’s rates grow faster over time than those by female freelancers.” The average hourly rate “for female freelancers is $22 compared to $24 for men.”

Adam Cohen, Chief Growth Officer at Payoneer, commented on the findings:

“We are living through a digital commerce revolution and the global freelancer economy is clearly an integral part of that. These survey results show that there are huge opportunities for SMBs around the world to tap into what is now a truly borderless workforce. The continued growth across SMBs and freelancers has a mutually positive impact as they open doors of opportunity for one another and we expect to continue to see them flourish in a digital-first environment.”

As noted in the update:

“A competitive market might mean that some freelancers are struggling to find the right work but the opportunities in the marketplace remain available to them and they continue to show resilience in the face of significant economic pressures. We are proud to be playing our role in facilitating their success in the global digital commerce system and look toward the future with optimism for SMBs and freelancers alike.”

Payoneer’s full report can be found here.

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