REPORT: The 2022 Philippines freelance market
The freelance economy in the Philippines has shown rapid growth for the past few years. In Payoneer’s 2019 Global Gig Economy Index, the Philippines placed sixth in the world as the fastest-growing market, with a 35 percent growth in freelance earnings. The pandemic accelerated this trend and increased the ranks of freelancers in 2020-21.
Today, the freelancing lifestyle is here to stay. Many Filipinos, who started freelancing full-time due to the pandemic, have since discovered they enjoy taking advantage of the job flexibility and earning potential from multiple income streams.
Why many still work with local clients, overseas freelancing opportunities continue to grow.
To find out more about Filipino freelancers and the opportunities that lie ahead, GCash and Payoneer surveyed 5,560 GCash users nationwide, which are fully captured in the Philippines Freelancer Market Whitepaper.
Read this blog to see the highlights of this research.
What freelancers look like today
55% of freelancers are between the ages of (21 to 35 years old). However, we see a sizeable (28%) composition of freelancers who’re aged 36-45 years as well, indicating a big proportion of Gen X and Boomers entering the gig economy. The latter prioritize building their income to support their families and often juggle freelance work and business opportunities.
69% of freelancers run their own business while taking on gigs simultaneously, while 18% take on multiple jobs from various clients.
The emergence of a new kind of freelancer
While 60% still engage in traditional freelance work, working on a per-project basis, or are bound by a contract with a client, we see the arrival of a new kind of freelancer. This group – the content creators comprises 35% of all freelancers, and they publish or upload and distribute their work on social media platforms.
Where are freelancers getting their jobs from?
Facebook is the biggest source of jobs for freelancers in the Philippines, followed by Instagram and then other job sites or gig economy platforms. Many Filipinos reported that referrals by friends are also a primary source of freelance work.
Key challenges faced by freelancers
While freelancers love the opportunity and flexibility that comes with freelancing, they are still concerned about the lack of company-sponsored benefits, uncertainty about future income, and isolation from working alone, amongst other reasons.
When it comes to payments, most use either payment platforms, and security is the primary consideration when selecting these, followed by transaction fees and the convenience of transferring to bank accounts. For content creators, though, a higher priority is placed on convenience and fast crediting over transaction fees.
Emerging opportunities for freelancers
The world is an oyster for the Filipino freelancer – their English proficiency, lower labor costs, and hard-working attitude make them a very attractive option for global businesses, and this survey too noted that freelancers seeking overseas opportunities are riding this wave and expanding in key markets, such as the US, UK, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and the UAE.
However, to grow further, they recognize a need to acquire and develop new skills for marketing and project management, graphic design, and proofreading, among others.
Freelancers with a mix of overseas & local clients earn more
While overseas clients generally pay higher, freelancers with overseas and local clients generate a 57% higher rate per hour than others.
This statistic is a clear indicator that Filipinos need to look beyond the Philippines market to grow further and increase their earnings since foreign clients are willing to pay more for quality work.
In a nutshell
The gig economy in the Philippines was already becoming an unstoppable trend, but the pandemic has accelerated the momentum. It is now time for Filipino freelancers to take their opportunities to the next level by going global.