Amidst a Bad Job Market, India Emerges Second Fastest Growing Freelance Market in the World

A report by Payoneer shows that India registered a whopping 46 per cent increase in new freelancers between Q 1 and Q2 in AY 2020

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As the Covid-19 pandemic challenges traditional models of work, India has emerged as the second fastest growing freelance market in the world, as per a report by financial services company Payoneer.

Titled  ‘Freelancing in 2020: An Abundance of Opportunities’, the report shows that India registered a whopping 46 per cent increase in new freelancers between Q 1 and Q2 in AY 2020. Expectedly, growth rate of new freelancers joining the market between May and June was more compared to March to April as the country saw significant job losses in April and May as the country went into countrywide lockdowns.

“More workers flooded the market with a 37 per cent increase in new freelancers between May and June, compared to 23 per cent increase between March and April,” the report stated.

India’s freelance economy currently consists of an estimated 15 million freelancers, as per the report.

“Rapid changes in technology and workplace expectations have redefined traditional employment models. There has been an increase in the number of individuals who are considering freelancing as a long-term career,” the report said.

Further, hit by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, Indian freelancers experienced a temporary slowdown in new projects with the month-on-month growth rate slowing from 13 per cent in April to 9 per cent in May. This pattern was seen worldwide, as per the report. “COVID-19 brought a short-term slowdown in revenue growth, but it bounced back even stronger with 28 per cent growth from May to June.”

A study by Refrens reiterated the trend as 64 per cent of Indian freelancer respondents said they received more assignments in June compared to April and May, suggesting demand had picked up where it left off.

“The first half of 2020 has been a real rollercoaster for the global freelancing economy. Like many industries, it felt an impact when the pandemic initially hit, but the rebound has been truly staggering. With businesses worldwide adapting to a remote workforce, it’s hardly surprising that the concept of flexible, affordable, on-demand skilled labor now offers even more value than it did beforehand,” said Jonny Steel, VP Marketing, Payoneer.

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