Freelancing Trends That Might Shock You

Whether it’s the economy causing the rise in freelancers these days, as Business on Main reports, or just the ability to hire someone virtually at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee, freelancing is hotter than it’s ever been. And while the unemployment rate may be hovering at just over 9 percent, the news about the percentage of freelancers finding work is much more positive. In fact, as The Christian Science Monitor points out, it’s been estimated that freelance roles will make up half of all the new jobs created during the period of economic recovery (whenever that starts).

content writing graph

Chart above: Content Writing Jobs Are Once Again Thriving

Each quarter, charts the fastest-growing online jobs for freelancers. Delving in, we found some interesting facts.

The biggest surprise was in mobile app development trends: Despite there being an app for everything, mobile app development is actually slowing. attributes this to the slowing of Android project growth. According to’s press release:

“Recently there has been some backlash in the hacker community over whether the complexity, hassle and walled garden of native mobile applications makes sense versus supporting a straight-out Web application – especially with HTML5 coming.”

I’d be curious to see how that changes mobile app development. After all, every time there’s a new platform (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile), developers have to scramble to learn the ropes. I wonder how HTML5 (which makes it easy to write a single program that can be used as an app on multiple platforms) will change the freelance gigs situation for developers?

Looking at Flash Development Trends

Speaking of HTML5, there was a 38 percent boost in jobs in this category, and Flash development trends showed that flash development gigs declined 10 percent. Expect HTML5 to dominate development soon.

And good news for us writers: Content jobs are back! After Google Panda killed content writing jobs last quarter, they’re once again thriving. (See the chart above.)

In general, companies are hiring writers, designers, programmers and SEO experts to give them the competitive edge. In these situations, it’s often cheaper to hire for just the work you need done than to pay full-time benefits. Do you use freelancers in your company?


Susan Payton Susan Payton is the Communications Manager for the Small Business Trends Awards programs. She is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management and press releases. She is also the Founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners who want to generate their own PR.

6 Reactions
  1. As an independent Business Consultant, I find this news most encouraging. I think business owners need to:

    a) identify what they can outsource so they can give themselves mroe time to work on their businesses (as opposed to in them) and, perhaps more importantly,
    b) ask for help in planning and setting their goals during the potentially even harder times as we begin to emerge from recession.

  2. Love to see fellow freelancers our there enjoying success. I’ve been fortunate to steadily increase my client base during the last two years since going independent and I love it.

  3. I agree that freelancing is on the rise. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is at least partially related to the economy. With unemployment still fairly high I think people are more willing to see what they can do with freelancing. The other thing that seems to be on the rise is consulting. Many of the sites I visit seem to offer some form of consulting. Nothing wrong with that, I just don’t recall seeing it so often a few short years ago.

  4. @peter–
    I absolutely agree with you about outsourcing. It’s the single best thing we can do to grow our businesses! We can only do so much ourselves.

    It’s always good to hear a freelance success story! Do you consider yourself a freelancer vs consultant or biz owner?

    I think you’re right that consultants are on the rise. It’s a good thing!

  5. Hi,

    Good to now that freelancing is on the rise. I’m opening a Coworking Space this month in Brazil. Is this report for the whole world or just for the United States?

  6. @Andre–
    I believe that it’s US only. Good luck with the endeavor!

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