Quarterly Trends Report: Q4 2017
New research predicts that by 2027, freelancers will comprise more than 50% of the U.S workforce. Technology — specifically online talent platforms — is contributing to this growth by making it easy for medium and large companies to work without limits.
Upwork is the largest global freelancing website that connects businesses with freelancers and agencies across 5,000 skills. This report was created using aggregate data on all Upwork clients with more than 100 employees to help medium and large businesses plan for evolving market trends and demands.
The following report is based on transactional data of all active clients with more than 100 employees across our various offerings, from Upwork, Upwork Pro, to Upwork Enterprise. This data can be used to:
- Assess the maturity of contingent workforce strategies across industries
- Identify skills gaps companies are filling with freelancers
- Evaluate whether hourly rates for specialized skills are in line with market rates
Upwork clients by industry
Industries like Professional Services, Manufacturing, and Consumer Goods had the greatest number of clients utilizing Upwork in Q4.
Upwork clients by company size
The majority of Upwork clients with 100+ employees in Q4 fell within the 100-499 company size range. However, larger companies are quickly following suit to compete in the global economy with nearly 20% of Fortune 500 companies already using Upwork to fill critical skills gaps.
Upwork users by department
Our self-reported client data shows marketing teams utilized Upwork to meet business demands significantly more than other departments. For the first time, HR was near the top of the list, which may reflect how they’re rethinking talent strategies to support business partners with faster access to talent.
Upwork performance metrics
On average, clients found and contracted qualified talent 10x faster, improved project fill rates, and engaged higher quality talent compared to traditional talent sourcing methods.
Upwork vsindustry average
Top 10 freelancer countries
Although the U.S. consistently tops the list, location is increasingly less important to medium and large businesses. In Q4, countries like the Philippines, India, and Ukraine beat predominantly English speaking countries.