- 73% of hiring managers are maintaining or increasing their hiring of freelancers, according to Upwork’s “Future of the Workforce Report.”
- Part of the reason: an expectation that layoffs and a freeze on new staff positions will continue due to Covid-19.
- Job seekers are most commonly being hired for writing, creative, web and software development projects.
Thursday’s report from the Labor Department that 1.5 million people filed new state unemployment claims last week serves as a stark reminder that the impact from the Covid-19 economic fallout is very much persisting. The total today stands at just under 20 million, the fifth worst number on record.
For those seeking work amid the coronavirus pandemic, there is a bright spot: According to the annual “Future of the Workforce Report” from Upwork, opportunities abound right now for the independent professional. With the unemployment rate at 13.5% and a rapidly changing labor market, hiring managers are accelerating the use of freelancers, says the global freelance job platform.
The survey finds that 45% of hiring managers expect freezes on new staff, while 39% expect layoffs to continue in the coming months. At the same time, close to three-quarters (73%) of hiring managers are looking to maintain or expand their hiring of independent professionals, with a typical employment length of about four months. Nearly half of all hiring managers surveyed said that they are now more likely to use these freelancers as a result of Covid-19.
Upwork’s annual report surveyed 1,500 hiring managers, once in November of 2019 and again in April of 2020, after the coronavirus outbreak.
“This remote work experiment will also have long-term implications for the traditional ways of hiring,” Upwork’s chief economist Adam Ozimek told CNBC in an email. “As companies embrace more remote work, they will also see that this opens up opportunities for how they think about hiring, recruiting and their workforce as a whole. They will no longer be confined to just their local labor markets but can find the most skilled talent, regardless of their location, that best meets their business needs.”