If you’re living the freelance life -- or, considering venturing into the world of freelancing -- you’re not alone.
In the last year alone…
Image credit: NPR
In fact, 50.9% of the U.S. population will be freelancing in 2027 if a current uptick in freelancing continues at its current pace, according to a 2017 study.
But, what makes some people gravitate towards freelance work while others shy away from freelancing?
To figure out why freelancing has grown so fast (apart from having a pandemic that accelerated the remote work trend) and shine a light on the under representation of people of color (POC) in the freelance economy, I sifted through studies, statistics and articles, pored over data, and interviewed experts.
I’m going to share what I learned. I’ll also show you a few resources to help you with your own work.
Let’s dive right in...
With the freelance economy growing so much, it’s curious there aren’t more people of color freelancing.
Image credit: Statista Research Department
This image depicts freelance workers and the general working population in the United States in 2019, broken down by racial background. In 2019, 62% of U.S. freelance workers identified themselves as white.
As you can see, only 16% of freelancers identified as Hispanic, 12% as African or African-American, and 5% as Asian or Asian-American.
Combine this with mainstream media tending to be dominated by individuals who are young, white, and male and you can see how some POC have trouble envisioning themselves freelancing.
There’s definitely a lack of representation.
And it mirrors the traditional employment market.
According to The Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative, “the racial composition of the non-traditional workforce is similar to that of the overall workforce... Agency temps, on-call, and contract company employees are more likely to be African American or Hispanic, whereas freelancers, consultants, and independent contractors are more likely to be white.”
Image credit: The Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative
“According to a 2015 study from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Whites continued to be more likely than Blacks or Hispanics to operate their own businesses. In 2015, the unincorporated self-employment rate for Whites was 6.9% while the rates for Blacks and Hispanics were 3.6% and 6.4%, respectively. The rate for Asians was 5.6%. Incorporated self-employment rates were highest for Asians and Whites (4.0% for both groups).”
Bottom line is whites are more likely to freelance than people of color.
Glad you asked.
We’ve seen the statistics showing POC are less likely to seek work outside of standard employment arrangements… even as the concept of the “safe and steady job” becomes outdated.
So, what are some of the reasons more POC don’t freelance?
These are valid concerns. But there is another side to the conversation.
It may be easier than ever before for anyone with a skill, passion, and drive to start freelancing, regardless of age, sex, or race.
As the idea of reporting to a centralized, physical location to work faces an uncertain future, freelancing offers an attractive alternative. Here are five reasons why:
Here are a few resources that make life easier for freelancers:
Hectic gives you the platform, tools, resources and community (to come) to freelance. It’s everything you need to get started freelancing. Your first client is always free and after that it’s just $11.99 a month, a price that is accessible to anyone.
Hectic offers everything you need to get started and run your freelance business like a pro. Tools like:
… all in one home base
As you can see, freelancing offers you freedom, flexibility, and financial reward when pursuing your own vision.
Working as a freelancer is a viable option for people of color. Whether you use freelancing to complement your day job or you take the plunge and freelance full-time, you can tap into technology and communities that will help you succeed.
Visit Hecticapp.com now to see what we’re all about.
I highly recommend this platform if you're a freelancer seeking a client/project management system that allows you to focus on nothing else but the quality of your work.