The gig economy is growing, but: how much can you really make from it?
However much you earn, there are some countries where it pays to be a gig economy worker than others.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US is the most lucrative country for gig economy workers, according to Payoneer’s Global Gig-Economy Index of Q2 2019.
Second on the list is the UK, followed by Brazil, Pakistan, and the Ukraine.
The Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Russia and Serbia round out the top 10.
Unfortunately for us, Australia didn’t make the top 10 list: when it comes to global freelancing revenue, we sit at 18th place.
But it doesn’t mean Australia’s gig economy isn’t growing: Payoneer Australia country manager Nathan Archie told Yahoo Finance that there was global demand for high-quality soft skills as businesses seek for ways to work with top talent.
“Australians are known globally to work hard, communicate effectively and produce high quality work,” Archie said, adding that Aussies are in demand in the areas of digital marketing, technology (ICT), advertising, and high-end consulting.
“The global demand offers industry professionals the ability to earn significantly more in overseas markets and with the falling Australian dollar, this makes it an even more attractive proposition.”
Top 10 countries for gig economy workers – a deep dive
Breaking down the trends, the Index report noted that the most profitable demographic was Gen X, or those aged 33-44 years old: this group contributed 32 per cent of earnings while only making up 23 per cent of freelancers.
US professionals, who earned 78 per cent more in the second quarter of 2019 than they did the same time last year, the highest spike in the world, were drawn to the gig economy for the freelancing lifestyle.
“The strength of the US and UK in Q2 signifies the importance of the English language in the gig economy,” the report said.
“This should be a wake-up call to global freelancers – communication and language skills are critical for your success.”
According to the report, the gig economy is attractive to Americans across every age demographics.
“Unlike other countries where the freelancer population tends to skew younger, professionals of all ages in the US are drawn to the gig economy.”
Meanwhile, Asia had cemented its status as a freelancer hub: freelancers in this region more than doubling their earnings since the same time last year.
“Pakistan, the Philippines, India and Bangladesh all made it onto our top-10 list, collectively recording a 138 per cent increase in earnings from Q2 2018.
Top 10 countries for gig economy workers: What did they all have in common?
According to the report, “increased investment in technical education”.
Similarly, Ukraine also made the top 10 thanks to a higher number of university-educated IT professionals which helped Ukraine outsourcing companies make bigger profits.
“We’re seeing more and more professionals leaving their jobs to join the gig economy,” said Payoneer VP regional head for the Americas Iain McNicoll.
“Whether it’s the flexible hours, the absence of a manager looking over your shoulder or the desire to build up your own business, workers don’t feel the need to be tied to their offices anymore.”
How to get paid more in the gig economy
According to the report, there were a number of recurring trends:
Experience counts, and portfolios matter: Companies are more willing to pay more for freelancers that can provide examples of past work in a range of jobs.
Get reviewed: A decent volume of reviews from former employers will get your profile noticed and give you an edge over other freelancers in the marketplace.
Think global: The beauty of freelancing is that you can work for anyone in the world, from anywhere. More experienced freelancers have learnt to market themselves to a global audience, opening themselves up to a bigger pool of employers.
Make your money work with Yahoo Finance’s daily newsletter. Sign up here and stay on top of the latest money, news and tech news.