freelancer or freelance worker is a Commonly used term for a person who is self-employed and Is not Necessarily committed to a Particular use long-term. Freelance workers are sometimes represented by a company or a temporary agency that resells freelance labor to clients; others work independently or professional associations or websites to get work.

Whereas the term ” independent contractor ” would be used in a higher register of English to designate the tax and employment classes of this type of worker. [1]

Fields, professions and industries Where is predominant freelancing include: music , writing, acting , computer programming , web design , translating and Illustrating film and video production, and other forms of pieces work qui Some cultural theorists Consider as central to the cognitively cultural economy . [2]

Freelance practices and compensation

According to the 2012 Freelance Industry Report compiles mainly about North America , with nearly half of freelancers writing work, with 18% of freelancers listing as a primary skill, 10% editing / copy-editing, and 10% as copy-writing. 20% of freelancers listed their primary skills as design. Next on the list was translating (8%), web development (5.5%), and marketing (4%). [3] Elance , a web platform that connects freelancers with contractors, surveyed its members and 39% listed writing and editing as their main skill set. [4]

Depending on the industry, freelance work practices vary and have changed over time. In some industries such as consulting, freelancers may require clients to sign written contracts . While in journalism or writing, freelancers may work for or work on their reputations or a relationship with a publication. Some freelancers may provide written estimates of work and demand deposits from customers.

Payment for freelance work also depends on industry, skills, and experience. Freelancers can charge by the day, hour, a piece rate, or per-project basis. Instead of a flat rate or fee, some freelancers have adopted a value-based pricing method based on the perceived value of the results to the customer. By custom, payment arrangements can be upfront, percentage upfront, or upon completion. For more complex projects, a contract based on milestones or outcomes. One of the drawbacks of freelancing is not guaranteed payment, and the work can be highly precarious .

In writing and other artistic fields, “freelance” and its derivatives, which are often published by a publisher. They typically retain the rights to their works and publish them in limited-time contracts. Traditionally, they would be submitted to publishers, where they would become part of the slushpile , and would either elicit an offer to buy (an “acceptance letter”) or a rejection slip .

People Who create intellectual property under a work for hire position (according to the publishers ‘or other customers’ specifications) are Sometimes Referred to as “independent contractors” or other similar terms. Copyright – 101 101 Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section 101 Copyright Act of 1976 (17 USC §101). The protection of the intellectual property rights that give rise to a work for hire agreement. of employees, however, in a relationship rather than employment relationship. [5]


The total number of freelancers in the US is inexact, as the most recent report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics . At that time, there were approximately 10.3 million workers in the United States (7.4% of the workforce). [6] In 2011, Jeffrey Eisenach , an economist at George Mason University, has grown to one million. citation needed ] While in 2012, the Aberdeen Group , a private research company, estimated that 26% (about 81 million) of the United States population was a part of thecontingent workforce , a category of casual labor that includes freelancing. [7]

In 2013, the Freelancers Union estimated that 1 in 3 workers in the United States was self-employed (approximately 42 million), with more than four million (43%) of those self-employed workers in the creative class , a stratum of skilled workers, technologists, professional writers, artists, entertainers, and media workers. [8]

In 2016, the Freelancers Union estimated that 35% of the workforce in the United States was self-employed (approximately 55 million). This workforce earned an estimated $ 1 trillion from freelancing in 2016-a significant share of the US economy. [9] In 2017, a study by MBO Partners estimated the total number of self-employed Americans aged 21 and above to be 40.9 million. [10]

The total number of freelancers in UK is also incorrect; HOWEVER, figures from the Office of National Statistics show That People Mainly working from home at gold rose from 9.2% in 2001 to 10.7% in 2011. [11] It has beens Estimated, HOWEVER, That There are Approximately 1.7 million freelancers in the UK . [12]

Freelancing is a gendered form of work. [3] The 2012 Freelance Industry Report estimates that more than 71% of freelancers are women between the ages of 30 and 50. Surveys of other specific areas of freelancing and similar trends. Demographic research on Amazon Mechanical Turk reveals that the majority of North American Mechanical Turk workers are women. [13] Catherine McKercher’s research on journalism is a profession that is still in the process of being dominated by the media. [14]


Freelancers have a variety of reasons for freelancing, the perceived benefits of differentiation, industry, and lifestyle. For instance, the 2012 Freelance Industry Report reported that men and women freelance for different reasons. Self-reported surveys of individuals with a preference for self-employment and self-employment. [3] Freelancing also enables people to obtain higher levels of employment in isolated communities. [15]

Freelancing is also taken up by those who have been laid-off, who can be found full-time employment, [3] or for those industries, which are relying on the quota rather than full-time staff. [16] Freelancers also consist of students trying to make ends meet during the semester. In interviews and on blogs about freelancers, freelancers and a choice of flexibility.


Freelancing, like other forms of casual labor , can be precarious work . Websites, books, portals and organizations for freelancers often feature advice on getting and keeping a steady work stream. citation needed ] Beside the lack of job security, many freelancers report the ongoing hassle of dealing with employers who do not pay on time and the possibility of long periods of work. Additionally, freelancers do not receive employment benefits such as a pension , sick leave , paid holidays, bonuses or health insurance , which can be a serious hardship for freelancers residing in countries such as US without universal health care. [17]

Freelancers often earn less than their employed counterparts. Whereas most freelancers have at least a few years of experience in working independently, [3] experienced freelancers who do not always earn an income equal to that of full-time employment. Frequently Asked Questions recommends that customers pay high fees, which is $ 10 per hour or less. Low-cost providers frequently offer as low as $ 1- $ 2 per hour. Because most projects require bidding, professionals will not be able to do so. This has the effect of reducing the overall quality of services provided.

According to the Professional Writers Association of Canada, there is a gap between staff and freelance journalists. While the typical Canadian full-time freelancer is female, between 35-55, holding a college graduate and often a graduate degree, she typically earns about $ 29,999 Canadian dollars before taxes. Meanwhile, a staff member at the Ottawa Citizen or Montreal Gazette newspapers, earned at least $ 63,500 Canadian dollars that year, The Newspaper Guild -Communications Workers of America. [16]Given the gendered stratification of journalism, this disparity in income can be interpreted as a form of gender pay gap . The Professional Writers Association of Canadareports, but part-time freelancers generally earn less than full-time freelancers. [18]

Working from home is often cited as an attractive feature of freelancing, yet research suggests working with home, newcomers to the process of doing work, particularly for married women with families, who continues to bear the brunt of household chores and child care in their paid work time. [19] [20] For instance, three years of ethnographic research on teleworkers in Australia conducted by Melissa Gregg, a Senior Engineer and Researcher in Residence for the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing at UC Irvine, raises concerns over how to improve physical and social security, and how to improve the quality of life. [21]

Internet and online marketplaces

The Internet has opened up many opportunities, expanded markets, and has contributed to service sector growth in many economies. [22] Offshore outsourcing , online outsourcing and crowdsourcing are heavily reliant on the use of remote access technology , and are often used extensively. Much computer freelance work is being outsourced to developing countries outside the United States and Europe.

Freelance marketplaces provide a marketplace for freelancers and buyers. Service providers or sellers create a profile where they include a description of the services they offer, examples of their work, and, in some cases, information about their rates. Buyers register and complete a basic profile, and then post projects outlining their requirements. Buyers will then bid for these projects on a fixed price or hourly basis. [23] Many of these websites have user reviews that can not be ignored. [24]

Freelance marketplaces have globalized competition for some jobs, allowing workers in high- and low-income countries to compete with one another. [25] According to a 2016 study by the McKinsey Global Institute, 15% of independent workers used online marketplaces to find work. [26]

These marketplaces, including Fiverr and Lyft , have been criticized as exploiting workers. [27] [28]

Legal aspects

Many periodicals and newspapers offer the option of ghost signing, when a freelance writer signs with an editor but their name is not listed on the byline of their article (s). This authorizes the writer to receive benefits while still being classified as a freelancer and independent of any set organization. In some countries this can lead to taxation issues (eg, so-called IR35 violations in the UK). Ghost signing has little bearing on a writer is a freelancer or employee in the US.

Freelancers often must handle contracts, legal issues, accounting, marketing, and other business functions by themselves. If they do choose to pay for professional services, they can sometimes turn into significant out-of-pocket expenses . Working hours can extend beyond the standard working day and working week.

The European Commission does not define “freelancers” in any legislative text. However, the European Commission defines a self-employed person as someone: “pursuing a gainful activity for their own account, under the conditions laid down by national law”. In the exercise of such an activity, the personal element is of special importance and such exercise always involves a large measure of independence in the accomplishment of the professional activities. This definition comes from the Directive (2010/41 / EU) on the application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women in a self-employed capacity. [29]

The European Forum of Independent Professionals defines the following as “a highly-skilled subset of self-employed workers, with no employees or employees, offering specialized services of an intellectual and knowledge-based nature”. Independent professionals work on a flexible basis in a range of creative, managerial, scientific and technical occupations; they are not a homogeneous group and as such, they can not be considered or investigated as a whole. They are characterized by a large portion of autonomy, a high labor productivity, a knowledge intensive performance, a social commitment and a large dose of entrepreneurship and specialization.

In Europe , the perceiving disadvantages of being a freelance European Union to research, producing draft papers citation needed ]that would, if enforced, make it illegal for companies or organizations to employ freelancers directly, unless the freelancer was entitled to such benefits as pension contributions and holiday pay. In the UK, where the terms of integration into the EU have been debated, this would be a significant impact on the industry. Employers would be required to provide services to the employer or the employer. However, the White Papers that recommend such moves have been adopted in the EU,citation needed ] The legal definition of a trader requires that he / she must have more than one customer or customer who promotes the freelancing ethos.

In the US in 2009, federal and state agencies Began Their Increasing oversight of freelancers and other workers Whom Employers classify as independent contractors . The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) [30]recommended that the Secretary of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division “focus on misclassification of employees as independent contractors during targeted investigations.” The aim of the legislation is to provide for the payment of unpaid wages and the payment of unpaid wages.

At the same time, they are based on the use of non-employees, and they are independent. For example, book publishing companies have traditionally outsourced certain tasks like indexing and proofreading to individuals working as independent contractors. Self-employed accountants and attorneys have traditionally hired their services to accounting and law firms. The US Internal Revenue Service [31] offers some guidance on self-employment , but states have to be defined. For example, in Massachusetts law [32]The company can not afford to be more than one of the most important people in the world. According to this statute, [33] a software engineering firm can not outsource work to a software engineering consultant, without hiring the consultant as an employee. The firm could, however, hire an independent contractor working on an electrician, interior decorator, or painter. This raises questions about the common practice of consulting, because a company would typically hire a management consulting firm or a self-employed consultant to address business-specific needs that are not “outside the normal course of business of the employ.”


ALTHOUGH it is Commonly Attributed To Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) in Ivanhoe (1820) to describe a “medieval mercenary warrior” or “free- lance ” (indicating indication que la lance is not sworn to-any Lord’s service, not that the spear is available free of charge), [34] a previous appearance occurs in Thomas N. Brown in The Life and Times of Hugh Miller (1809)., [35] p. as a verb in 1903 by authorities in etymology such as the Oxford English Dictionary. Only in modern times has the term morphed from a noun (a freelance) into an adjective (to a freelance journalist), to a verb (to journalist who freelances) and to an adverb (she worked freelance), to more freelance .

See also

  • Freelancers Union
  • Freelancing in India
  • Mercenary
  • Misclassification of employees as independent contractors
  • Recruitment advertising
  • Self-employment


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