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Young freelancer man with laptop in the green tropical park of Bali island. Indonesia.

Bolstered by demographic changes, advances in technology, and shifting work patterns, the freelance and contractual labor market has been thriving as more professionals are seen to join the gig economy for extra income or to satisfy their lifestyle choices.

Multiple factors, like collaborative technology, online marketplaces, and cross-border payment platforms, are enabling the freelance workforce to do business from anywhere in the world.


According to the 2020 Freelancer Income Report of global financial services company, Payoneer—a survey with over 7,000 respondents from more than 150 countries, including the Philippines—freelancing provides an attractive earning potential, that in many cases, exceeds average wages, while empowering workers to find value in the freedom of being their own boss.

The study reveals that the global average hourly rate of gig economy workers is US$21, which is higher than the US$19 rate reported in 2018. While 33% opt to do freelancing alongside a full-time corporate job, individuals who exclusively freelance earn a higher hourly rate and tend to have a more pronounced lifestyle satisfaction. Businesses also benefit from this setup by sourcing top-talent without worrying about location or overhead costs.

It’s common for Filipinos to leave the provinces in search of better employment opportunities in Metro Manila. But with the presence of online careers, more people from Visayas and Mindanao are able to find high-paying jobs, allowing them to earn a reliable means of living without having to leave home.

Realizing the gig economy’s role in catering to Filipinos living in rural areas, the government has launched initiatives like DigitalJobsPH Technical Training, which aims to bridge freelancers with jobs related to the information communications technology (ICT) field.

Through this program, aspiring freelancers can take up courses like Digital Marketing and eCommerce, Content Writing, Virtual Assistance, Social Media Marketing and Advertising, among others that will enable them to boost their employability while honing their talents.

Fintech companies like Payoneer also empower freelancers to explore cross-border opportunities by providing them a platform that will even out their billing services. Handling more than 150 different currencies worldwide, Payoneer is integrated with thousands of leading global marketplaces and brands.

“Freelancers are empowered to acquire work, set their own wages, market their skills, and get paid how and when they want. It’s our mission to take the complexity and anxiety out of international business for all parties, offering financial services that make it simple for people to take advantage of flourishing global opportunities, and to be a catalyst for businesses to easily acquire the best talent wherever they are and without borders,” shares Scott Galit, Payoneer CEO.

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