27 Latest Upwork Statistics 2021 (hidden freelancing insights & users stats)

27 Latest Upwork Statistics 2021 (hidden freelancing insights & users stats)

There are many Upwork Statistics that you should know.

Users, job, financial, hiring, freelancing, and revenue stats.

Probably as someone who hires, as a freelancer, or maybe you’re an online marketer like myself – we sure need to be updated with the latest Upwork and freelancing stats.

Quickly here are my favorite Upwork Statistics:

  • Upwork has over 145.4 thousand core active clients
  • There are over 180 countries represented on Upwork
  • Upwork had 540 employees at the end of 2020
  • Upwork’s clients spent $2.52 billion in 2020
  • Over 30% of Fortune 100 companies hired freelancers on Upwork in 2020
  • There are over 10,000 skills on Upwork
  • Content writers earn $15 to $80 per hour on Upwork
  • Upwork generated revenue of $373.63 million in 2020
  • Over 4 million messages are exchanged on Upwork every week
  • On average, it takes clients only 3 days to hire on Upwork
  • Upwork had a client spend retention rate of 102% in 2020
Upwork

Upwork Statistics is a platform for freelancers to find work, and employers to find talent. 

Upwork has been in the freelance job space since 2005, so they have a lot of data about trends over time. 

This article will discuss the most significant Upwork Statistics.

Let’s get started!

Upwork User Statistics

#1. Upwork has over 145.4 thousand core active clients

For every business, there’s a small percentage of clients who spend much more than other clients. These are the core clients.

Upwork defines its core clients as those who spend at least $5,000 annually on the platform. Over the years, the number of core clients has grown. 

For instance, the core client base has grown by 90.06% since 2016. This means Upwork added 68.9 thousand core clients during the period.

#2. There are over 180 countries represented on Upwork.

One way to determine a global platform is by the number of nationalities using it.

And with clients or freelancers from over 180 countries, Upwork fits its description as a global freelance marketplace.

Upwork Job Statistics

#3. Upwork had 540 employees at the end of 2020.

Compared to 2019, Upwork’s workforce became smaller by the end of 2020. This happened as a result of Upwork reducing its sales employees by one-third in November 2020.

According to Upwork, the sales team had to be reduced when the company stopped selling the Upwork Business offering.

#4. Upwork’s clients spent $2.52 billion in 2020. 

As Upwork took steps to attract bigger clients, this has led to an increase in the gross service volume on the platform.

As client spend increases, freelancers earn more as well as Upwork through fees.

#5. Over 30% of Fortune 100 companies hired freelancers on Upwork in 2020.

When Hayden Brown became Upwork’s CEO, she claimed that Upwork needed to change its approach to the marketplace.

The most critical change required was to fill the “skills gap” that existed on the platform.

Many enterprises with complex projects were unable to find freelancers to execute their projects. In light of this, Upwork made changes to ensure enterprises got freelancers who were likely to meet their needs.

As a result of these changes, Upwork attracted more enterprises and generated more revenue.

#6. Upwork marketplace has over 90 categories.

While categories such as article writing, copywriting, and graphic design are popular, there are more on Upwork.

In fact, there are over 90 categories where clients can post their jobs.

#7. There are over 10,000 skills on Upwork.

In addition to the job categories, clients can find freelancers with over 10,000 skills.

Consequently, most clients looking to get their jobs done will find freelancers with the needed skills.

#8. Upwork engaged 1,500 freelancers in their projects in 2020.

What better way to display confidence in your service than use it? Upwork hired 1,500 freelancers for different projects in 2020.

Furthermore, this number has been increasing over the years. For instance, Upwork hired 1,000 and 1,200 freelancers in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

#9. Freelancers on Upwork earned $2.3 billion in 2020.

From the amount spent on Upwork in 2020, freelancers earned a whopping $2.3 billion. Naturally, Upwork took the rest as fees.

#10. Content writers earn $15 to $80 per hour on Upwork.

cost to hire to content writers

Content writing is one of the most popular skills on Upwork. And like most skills, there’s a wide range of compensation for freelancers.

According to Upwork, content writers can charge between $15 and $80 per hour for projects on the platform.

Obviously, many factors will affect how much a freelancer decides to charge for a project.

Two common factors are the expertise of the freelancer and the complexity of the project.

#11. Web developers earn $13 to $324 per hour on Upwork.

This is another popular job online. However, unlike content writers, web developers’ rates can vary wildly.

That’s because the complexity of different web development projects varies. According to data on Glassdoor, web developers’ rates range from $13 to $324 per hour.

#12. Graphic designers earn $15 to $150 per hour on Upwork with an average rate of $25.

Many campaigns online require images and other visuals. That’s why graphic designers are in demand on Upwork.

If you’re hiring graphic designers on Upwork, be prepared to pay between $15 to $150 per hour for their services. 

#13. On average, it takes clients only 3 days to hire on Upwork.

As soon as a client posts a job on Upwork, applications start rolling in. Sometimes, clients start interacting with freelancers immediately.

In other cases, it may take days or weeks to interact before hiring a freelancer.

On average, though, it takes only 3 days to interact with freelancers and hire one of them for projects.

#14. Over 4 million messages are exchanged on Upwork every week.

While applying for projects and executing them, clients and freelancers have to interact through messages on the platform.

Depending on the complexity of a project and other factors, messages can run from tens to hundreds during a project.

Considering that thousands of conversations like this go on every week, it’s no surprise that 4 million messages are exchanged on the platform weekly.

#15. Upwork had a client spend retention rate of 102% in 2020.

Clients on Upwork spends retention displays the value of the work marketplace and the overall health of Upwork’s business.

After all, this metric impacts the growth rate of gross services volume.

Upwork Financial Statistics

#16. Upwork generated revenue of $373.63 million in 2020.

Over the years, Upwork has been growing its revenue. And its 2020 revenue represented a 24.31% increase compared to its revenue in 2019.

The company generated $300.6 million in 2019 and $253.4 million in 2018. However, when you remove the cost of revenue, Upwork had gross profits of $269.4 million.

#17. Upwork’s marketplace accounted for $338.15 million of the total revenue.

Of its total revenue, Upwork’s marketplace accounts for 90.5%.

Compared to 2019, when the company generated $268.28 million, this is a 26.04% year-over-year increase.

#18. Upwork generated $226.7 million from freelancers in 2020.

In the marketplace, Upwork generated revenue from both freelancers and clients. Naturally, Upwork generated more revenue from freelancers in 2020.

This amount represents 67.86% of the total marketplace revenue.

The revenue from freelancers comes from a percentage of their invoice, membership charges, withdrawal fees, and connects. 

For instance, freelancers on Upwork pay 20% charges for the first $500, 10% for the next $9,500, and 5% on any amount above $10,000 that they charge clients.

On the other hand, clients using the Upwork Basic offering will pay 3% of their spend as fees.

Beyond these, there are more charges users can incur on the platform.

Upwork’s revenue from freelancers has grown over the past 5 years.

The platform generated $187.44 million in 2019, $163.25 million in 2018, $132.07 million in 2017, and $113.37 million in 2016. During this period, Upwork’s biggest markets in revenue have been the United States, India, and the Philippines. 

#19. Upwork generated $60.86 million from freelancers in the United States in 2020.

As its biggest market in revenue, the United States accounts for more than a quarter of Upwork’s revenue from freelancers.

In comparison, the company generated $50.15 million from the United States in 2019, $40.31 million in 2018, $26.6 million in 2017, and $21.46 million in 2016.

#20. Upwork generated $33.11 million from freelancers in India in 2020.

This is Upwork’s second-biggest market in terms of revenue.

In comparison, Upwork generated $27.37 million from India in 2019, $25.49 million in 2018, $21.88 million in 2017, and $20 million in 2016.

#21. Upwork generated $22.92 million from freelancers in the Philippines in 2020.

The Philippines represents Upwork’s third-biggest market in terms of revenue from freelancers.

In comparison, the company generated $19.66 million from the country in 2019, $17.06 million in 2018, $14.76 million in 2017, and $13.39 million in 2016.

#22. The three largest markets accounts for 51.57% of the total revenue from freelancers on Upwork. 

To underline the dominance of these 3 markets, you can look at their overall share of the revenue.

Doing that, you’ll see that they account for more than half of the total revenue from freelancers.

#23. Upwork generated $146.93 million from employers on the platform.

Apart from freelancers, Upwork also generates revenue from employers on the platform. The revenue comes from currency exchange charges, administration fees, and more.

#24. The United States is by far the largest market for employers, accounting for $107.36 million out of the total employers’ revenue.

When it comes to employers’ revenue, it’s practically the United States and the rest. The United States brings in 73.07% of the total employers’ revenue.

#25. Upwork had total operating expenses of $291.77 million in 2020.

While revenue is important for any company, expenses are just as important.

This value is higher than the previous 4 years.

Like its revenue, operating expenses have also increased steadily.

The company had total operating expenses of $231.15 million in 2019, $183.6 million in 2018, $140.23 million in 2017, and $116.34 million in 2016.

A company can have expenses higher than its gross profits for the short term, just like Upwork. However, it’s unsustainable for the long term.

#26. Upwork spent $133.2 million on sales and marketing in 2020.

For any company, promoting your services to your potential clients has a great chance of improving revenue. In this case, Upwork has to attract enterprise clients and more highly-skilled freelancers.

This value is a 38.9% increase compared to $95.9 million spent in 2019.

#27. Despite its revenues, Upwork incurred net losses of $22.9 million in 2020.

This is because the expenses are higher than the company’s gross profits of $269.4 million.

The company also had net losses of $16.7 million and $19.9 million in 2019 and 2018, respectively.

#28. Upwork had total assets of $529.23 million at the end of 2020.

These include property and equipment, goodwill, intangible assets, operating lease assets, and more.

Upwork Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Upwork dying?

No, Upwork is not dying. The company has strategized to focus its services more on big enterprises and match them to highly skilled freelancers.

As a result, Upwork has increased its revenue and profits over the years.

What percentage does Upwork take?

If you’re a freelancer, Upwork will take 20% of your invoice for your first $500 income on the platform, 10% for the next $9,500, and 5% when you cross the $10,000 threshold.

If you’re an employer on the Upwork Basic offering, you’ll pay 3% of your spend as fees.

What is my job success score Upwork?

Your job success score on Upwork indicates client satisfaction for your past jobs.

Here’s the formula to calculate your job success score (JSS) on Upwork:

[(successful contract outcomes – negative contract outcomes) / total outcomes] × 100%

To qualify for a job success score, you need to have executed projects with at least 2 different clients and 4 different contracts within 24 months.

To arrive at a JSS for you, Upwork calculates JSS for the past 24 months, 12 months, 6 months, and trending JSS.

Then, the highest score will be displayed on your profile. For your job success score, the closer to 100%, the better.

Can you get scammed on Upwork?

Yes, you can get scammed on Upwork. One of the main ways to get scammed is to take payments outside Upwork. For instance, a popular example of this is freelancers receiving counterfeit checks.

Another way is to work for clients whose payment methods have not been verified.

You can check out this Upwork page for signs to look out for to avoid scams.

Is Upwork worth it 2021?

Yes, Upwork is worth it based on two conditions.

One, if you’re a highly skilled freelancer, you can make a good income with the new Upwork approach. Second, if you run an enterprise, you’ll find skilled freelancers to execute your projects. 

Can I make a living on Upwork?

Yes, you can make a living on Upwork, but you’ll need time and a high skill level.

The main determinants of how much you can make on Upwork are the number of projects you execute and how well you satisfy your clients (your job success score).

Is Upwork good for beginners?

Yes, Upwork is good for beginners who want to develop their skills and can take their time. However, the current Upwork is geared towards freelancers who are already highly skilled at their work.

Is freelancing on Upwork worth it?

Freelancing on Upwork is worth it if you have the skills to produce the results that clients are looking for. 

Does Upwork have a monthly fee?

No, Upwork does not charge any monthly fees to freelancers or clients.

How do I get paid in Upwork?

To get paid on Upwork, you need to set up a payment method and your tax status. You have options to withdraw directly to your bank account or through a third-party payment vendor. 

If you’re withdrawing to your bank account, here are your options:

  • ACH transfer to U.S. bank account at no charge 
  • Direct to your local bank at $0.99 per transfer
  • U.S. dollar wire transfer at $30 per transfer
  • Instant pay for U.S. freelancers at $2 per transfer

For third-party vendors, your options include:

  • PayPal
  • Payoneer
  • M-Pesa for Kenyan freelancers

You can use any option among these that fit your needs.

How do I get top-rated Upwork?

Getting top-rated on Upwork is an aim that most freelancers want to achieve. Because it allows you to land more great jobs on the platform.

What are the criteria to get the top-rated badge?

Here are some of them:

  • You must have a current job success score of 90% or higher.
  • You must have maintained a job success score of at least 90% or rising talent status for at least 13 of the past 16 weeks.
  • Your first hire on Upwork must be more than 90 days ago.
  • You must have 12-month earnings of at least $1,000.

There are even more criteria and tips to help you get top-rated. You can check out Upwork’s help page about getting top-rated on the platform. 

Even if you run an agency, you’ll find criteria to become a top-rated agency. 

Final Thoughts

Upwork is a very powerful platform to build your freelancing career.

These statistics show that it’s one of the most preferred platforms for freelancers worldwide.

And also provides some hidden insights into what skills are in demand on the platform.

Quickly here’s the summary of the important Upwork statistics:

  • Upwork has over 145.4 thousand core active clients
  • There are over 180 countries represented on Upwork
  • Upwork had 540 employees at the end of 2020
  • Upwork’s clients spent $2.52 billion in 2020
  • Over 30% of Fortune 100 companies hired freelancers on Upwork in 2020
  • There are over 10,000 skills on Upwork
  • Content writers earn $15 to $80 per hour on Upwork
  • Upwork generated revenue of $373.63 million in 2020
  • Over 4 million messages are exchanged on Upwork every week
  • On average, it takes clients only 3 days to hire on Upwork
  • Upwork had a client spend retention of 102% in 2020

That’s it for my list of Upwork freelancing platform statistics.

As someone that’s actively involved in marketing and hires a ton of skills via Upwork for my business, I really enjoyed putting this list of stats together.

Now I’d like to hear your thoughts:

Which Upwork stat from this list surprised you the most?

Or maybe there’s a stat out there that I overlooked (it happens)

Kindly leave a comment below.

Khris Steven

My mission is to equip and arm you with the precise marketing tools, resources, strategies, and tactics to help you make IMPACT, SERVE more and (of course) EXPLODE your income so you can live life on your own terms.

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