Being at the vulnerable end of the advertising food chain, Freelancers were an early COVID casualty and experienced a slower bounce back to the industry as a whole. The sudden imbalance in demand and supply drove freelance rates down while companies looked to shorten project lengths by up to 33%.
Thankfully, freelancers are positioned to be an important part of the recovery with many companies opting to build more flexible teams models. Because of this, understanding how the freelance marketplace shifted during 2020 will be important for freelancers and those companies looking to leverage the incredible freelance talent available in Australia and Singapore.
In our 2021 edition of the Cavalry Freelance Rate & Market Guide, our research provides a detailed overview of how the freelance market shifted and changed during 2020. This includes rates, project length and general demand and supply conditions. Our goal is to help both companies and freelancers better understand the latest market conditions within creative services and by doing so help align expectations and planning.
Here are the key outtakes:
- Freelance rates decreased by 1.9% between 2019 and 2020 from $574 to $563.
- The average length of a gig dropped 32.97% to 15 days from 23 days in 2019.
- Sydney remained the city with the highest daily rates ($610) and only experienced a mild 4% drop. Melbourne experienced a 7% drop to $538 whereas Brisbane remained flat at $539. Singapore (-15%), Adelaide (-12%) and Perth (-7%) all experienced significant drops to their average day rates
- While on the whole Companies were more likely to seek out mid-weight (34%) and senior (38%) freelancers, there was a shift towards more senior skill-sets with demand for Leads growing from 5% in 2019 to 10% and Seniors growing from 32% in 2019 to 38%.
- In contrast, many freelancers positioned themselves as less senior with Leads dropping to 21% of freelancers from 26% and Seniors dropping to 35% from 39%. Mid-weights on the other hand increased to 33% from 30%.
- While demand for design skills led all categories (21%), creative skills gained ground with an increase of 3 percentage points to 20%. This was followed by technology (11%), and UX/UI (7%)
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