More than one in every 25 professionals in the US is independent, with a growing share of women switching from traditional full-time jobs, according to a new survey.

There were an estimated 6.7 million independent professionals last year, up 2.2% from 2021, according to the study, published by the Freelancers Union in collaboration with Fiverr, a site connecting businesses with freelancers.

The independent workforce has been on the rise during the pandemic, with people taking advantage of remote work, in particular women who traditionally tend to bear the brunt of child care and seek more flexibility. The report found that most skilled independent professionals are located in the country’s 30 largest cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

The independent professionals in the report are defined as not employing others and working in the following industries:

  • professional services, such as legal, accounting and marketing
  • skilled technical services, including architecture and computers
  • creative services, such as artists, video producers

Here’s a breakdown of independent professionals and their typical revenue in 2022, based on the study’s survey:

Type of Services # Employees Average Earnings/Hour
Professional 3.4 million $103
Technical 1.9 million $90
Creative 1.3 million $71


Despite mounting concerns over the economy, most independent professionals feel financially secure, according to the survey. More than eight in ten reckon that having multiple sources of income provides a greater level of security than relying on a single employer.

A growing number of women are switching from traditional employment to freelancing, the report found, partly because they prefer to work from home and want more flexibility in their schedule. Additionally, by an 11-percentage point margin, more women cite a desire to avoid an unpleasant or toxic work environment.

“Women are more likely than men to make a full transition to freelancing and not hold other employment,” said Emily Waters, research director at Rockbridge Associates, a market-research firm that contributed to the report. “It seems men are adding freelancing for extra work and income, whereas women are often looking to leave their less-than-satisfactory traditional job behind.”

Overall, women who are independent professionals were more satisfied than men about their work, which could put pressure on companies in sectors that employ a larger number of women.

The survey was conducted from March 6 to March 17.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.