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Freelance and Contractor Day Rates Remain Stable in 2023 Despite Economic Downturn

Freelance and Contractor Day Rates Report 2023 | YunoJuno
Katey Gregory
Katey Gregory
February 6, 2024
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Last week, we were delighted to announce the release of our much-anticipated annual Freelancer Rates Report for 2024.

Our comprehensive report based on 98,000+ YunoJuno freelance contracts, provides an extensive review of the current flexible workforce market, with valuable insights into the evolving landscape of freelance work, including changes in day rates and contract lengths across various disciplines and seniorities, from the previous year.

What we saw from 2023

Our report findings from 2023 marked an average year on year increase of approximately +0.1% in day rates for independent contractors, reaching an average of £379 per day.

Across 15 disciplines from within the YunoJuno platform, the average project length stood at 24 working days, translating to just under 5 weeks. This was a -0.8% year on year decrease in contract length.

Notably, significant variations existed among disciplines, with the top-earning fields being Strategy (£497 average per day), Market Research (£488), and Data (£473).

In terms of project lengths, Client Services boasted the longest average, with freelancers being booked for just over 9 weeks (46 working days).

Highest Day Rates from YunoJuno’s 2024 Freelancer Rates Report:

Highest Role Day Rates from 2023 with contract length averages.

This year's report, reveals that despite the challenging economic conditions in 2023, freelance rates remained stable overall. Average day rates continued to increase in many disciplines, albeit at a slower pace than in previous years. However, certain sectors experienced a drop in rates as freelancers and companies swiftly adapted to the changing business environment.

The report underscores the resilience of freelancers and the flexibility of the freelance market in responding to economic uncertainties, with variations in rates reflecting the diverse impact on different industries and skill sets.

AspectEmployeeIndependent Contractor
Control and supervisionDirect control over how, when, and where to workFreedom to set their own schedules and methods
PaymentRegular wages; taxes withheld by employerPaid per project; responsible for their own taxes
BenefitsHealth insurance, retirment plans, paid leaveMust arrange their own benefits
TerminationOften requires notice and may include severanceCan usually be terminated at any time without benefits
Tools and equipmentProvided by the employerTypically use their own tools
Coming into 2024, we are seeing many companies ramping up their flexible freelance workforce again, as a preferred way to get projects moving with highly skilled workers, without increasing permanent headcount. As demand increases in this economic environment, freelancers prove to be the most flexible, adaptable and resilient part of a company’s workforce. That’s why we believe, freelancers and contractors are the future of work.
Runar Reistrup, YunoJuno CEO

Despite the economic downturn, YunoJuno saw a 60% increase in bookings from 2023 which translated to $1.5+ billion in revenue distributed to freelancers using the platform to date.

YunoJuno recognises the immense contribution contractors and freelancers make to companies and projects worldwide and remains committed to supporting the freelance community by providing transparent and up-to-date information on market trends.

The future of work is freelance

It’s been inspiring for us at YunoJuno to see how the freelancers on our platform have used the increased downtime between projects in 2023 to upskill and therefore increase their value to future clients by training themselves in AI and other emerging tools and technologies.

As the demand for their services increases, we expect these highly skilled freelancers to deliver a step change in productivity to the companies who take a strategic approach to their flexible workforce and utilise the power and efficiency of freelancers to gain a competitive advantage.

Explore the report insights today

The Freelancer Rates Report is available to view or download for those interested in gaining deeper insights into the contingent workforce industry.

Alongside the downloadable report, for 2024 we launched a digital portal, to continue to update data for new roles and keep you forever in the know.

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