Upwork Statistics

Upwork is one of the leading talent platforms where hiring managers can find talent and where freelancers can find high-paying clients. 

If you are a freelancer or employer looking to use Upwork, I have gathered the latest Upwork statistics that contain all the most recent facts and figures.

I will be sure to update the statistics as time goes on. 

🔑 Key Upwork Statistics:

  • Upwork has over 827,000 active clients as of August 2023
  • Upwork currently has up to 850 employees
  • The Upwork marketplace has over 125 categories
  • Freelancers on Upwork earned $3.8 billion in 2022
  • Upwork Marketplace generated $160.9 million in Q1 2023
  • Upwork had total operating expenses of $550.54 million in 2022
  • Upwork has experienced remarkable year-over-year growth of 23.0%
  • The average Upwork annual salary in the U.S is $62,492
  • There are currently up to 60 million Americans freelancing
  • The three leading countries in the freelancing industry are the United States, India, and the Philippines, accounting for a significant 45.6% of Upwork’s total freelancer revenue.
Upwork

Upwork 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 827,000 active clients 

(Upwork)

Active clients are clients who have actively used the Upwork platform in the past 12 months. Upwork defines its core clients as those who spend at least $5,000 annually on the platform. 

Over the years, Upwork’s active client base has increased rapidly. This is mostly because many more businesses are embracing the remote work option and hiring more freelancers. 

Additionally, the number of freelancers is rapidly increasing too. Companies and hiring managers are investing more in freelance job positions. 

2. There are over 180 countries represented on Upwork 

(Upwork)

One way to determine a global platform is by the number of nationalities using it. Upwork has grown to become one of the top 2  marketplaces for freelancers worldwide. It serves different countries and races. It also serves veterans, professionals, and novices for its niches. 

Upwork still hopes to expand its reach, getting across to more countries and expanding job opportunities. 

3. In 2022, Upwork made a total revenue of $618.3 million 

(Upwork)

Upwork’s revenue has increased over the years. In 2021, the revenue was $502. 7 million and in 2020, it was $373.6 million. Upwork has a marketplace where it generates most of its revenue. 

The company generates marketplace revenue from both talents and clients. It does this by charging them for transaction and service fees. Other fees include purchases of Connects, withdrawal fees, membership fees, and so on. 

4. There are more than 10,000 freelance jobs available on Upwork 

(Upwork)

These jobs span various categories, including web development, mobile development, design, writing, marketing, customer service, and much more. With such a vast array of job opportunities available, freelancers can choose jobs that match their skill sets and interests, making it easier for them to find work that they are passionate about.

Upwork Job Statistics

5. Upwork currently has up to 850 employees 

(Google Finance)

As a large organization, Upwork has employed more people over the years. In 2020, the company had 540 employees. The majority of Upwork’s employees are in the Sales and Marketing team, with over 250 members. 

6. Upwork recently reduced its employees by 15%, which is 137

(Upwork)

Even though Upwork increased its employees over the years, it reduced its workforce in May 2023. In a 2023 Q1 report released by Upwork, the company had to cut down its workforce size to accommodate its increasing expenses.

7. Upwork made up to $4.1 billion in GSV in 2022 

(Upwork)

GSV is the total amount of money clients spend on Upwork’s offerings. It also includes the additional fees Upwork charges freelancers or other professionals for other services. 

In order words, it involves both client spend and additional charges for other services. These additional charges include purchases of Connects, User membership, payment transactions, etc.

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

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

8. Over 30% of Fortune 100 companies hired freelancers on Upwork in 2022 

(Upwork)

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.

9. The Upwork marketplace has over 125 categories 

(Upwork)

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

In fact, there are 125 categories where clients can post their jobs. You can find talent in almost any category of your choice, from sales and development to project management, business consultancy, proposal writing, data analytics, and so much more. 

Upwork is allowing diversity of talents to attract more clients and hiring managers. 

10. There are over 10,000 skills on Upwork 

(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.

11. Upwork engaged 1,950 freelancers in their projects in 2022 

(Upwork)

What better way to display confidence in your service than using it? Upwork hired 1,950 freelancers for different projects in 2022.

Furthermore, this number has been increasing over the years. For instance, Upwork hired 1,500 and 1,200 freelancers in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

12. Freelancers on Upwork earned $3.8 billion in 2022 

(Upwork)

From the amount spent on Upwork in 2022, freelancers earned a whopping $3.8 billion. Naturally, Upwork took the rest as fees.

13. Content writers earn $15 to $40 per hour on Upwork 

(Upwork)

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 $40 per hour for projects on the platform.

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.

14. Web developers earn $15 to $30 per hour on Upwork 

(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. 

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

(Upwork)

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. 

16. Upwork had a client spend retention rate of 102% in 2022  

(Upwork)

Clients’ spend 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

YearTotal Revenue (in millions)Year-over-Year Growth Percentage
2018$235.3516.2%
2019$300.5627.7%
2020$373.6324.3%
2021$502.8034.6%
2022$618.3223.0%

As you can see, Upwork has experienced significant revenue growth over the past few years, with a compound annual growth rate of 27.3%. In 2023, Upwork is expected to continue this trend with revenue growth projected to be between 7.5% and 9.2%.

17. Upwork generated $502 million in revenue in 2021 

(Statista)

18. Upwork’s marketplace revenue amounted to over $566 million in 2022 

(Upwork)

This was a $104.3 million or 23% increase compared to the previous year (2021), which was over $462 million. 

19. In the first quarter (Q1) of 2023, Upwork generated $160.86 million 

(Google Finance)

It has also acquired a net income of $17.17 million.

20. Upwork Marketplace generated $160.9 million in Q1 2023 

(Upwork)

In the marketplace, Upwork generated revenue from both freelancers and clients. Naturally, Upwork generated more revenue from freelancers in 2023.

The revenue from freelancers comes from a percentage of their invoices, 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 spending 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. 

21. Upwork generated $86.89 million from freelancers in the United States in 2022 

(Upwork)

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 $74.89 million from the United States in 2021 and $60.86 million in 2020.

22. Upwork generated $45.81 million from freelancers in India in 2022 

(Upwork)

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

In comparison, Upwork generated $42.27 million from India in 2021, and $33.10 million in 2020.

23. Upwork generated $39.94 million from freelancers in the Philippines in 2022 

(Upwork)

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

In comparison, the company generated $32.91 million from the country in 2021 and $22.92 million in 2020. 

24. The three largest markets account for 51.57% of the total revenue from freelancers on Upwork 

(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.

25. Upwork had total operating expenses of $550.54 million in 2022

(Upwork)

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 $421.5 million in 2021 and $291.7 million in 2020.

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

26. Just in Q1 2023, Upwork has already spent $145.46 million on total operating expenses despite only getting $160 million in revenue

(Upwork)

27. Upwork spent $246.9 million on sales and marketing in 2022 

(Upwork)

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 an increase compared to the $183.3 million spent in 2021.

28. Despite its revenues, Upwork incurred net losses of $89.9 million in 2022 

(Upwork)

This is because the expenses are higher than the company’s gross profits of $457.9 million.

The company also had net losses of $56.2 million and $22.8 million in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

29. Upwork had total assets of $1.08 million at the end of 2022 

(Upwork)

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

30. Upwork had total liabilities of $831,000 at the end of 2022 

(Upwork)

31. The average Upwork annual salary in the U.S is $62,492 

(Zippia)

Upwork employees earn an average of $62,492 annually. However, this is affected by various factors which include the work category and the employee’s professional level. For example, a senior-level marketer at Upwork will earn a higher amount than an entry-level marketer or content writer. 

32. Upwork raised up to $168.8 million in total funding 

(Crunchbase)

The freelance platform company has had up to 13 funding rounds. The last funding happened on January 1, 2017. 

33. Upwork is listed on Nasdaq with a share price of $9.13 

(Upwork)

34. Upwork’s current Market cap (net worth) is $1.22 billion 

(Google Finance)

35. The Sales and Development category has the highest YoY growth on Upwork with 54%. 

(Upwork)

Data entry had a 47% YoY growth, accounting had 45%, and 3D animation had 44%. 

36. The most in-demand tech skill on Upwork is Full-stack development 

(Upwork)

There are various tech skills available on Upwork and all of them are in demand. But the most wanted skill is full stack development mainly because it can perform other tech functions. 

A full-stack developer can take on many responsibilities in a team.

37. The most in-demand marketing skill on Upwork is SEO 

(Upwork)

In marketing, SEO is a much-needed skill especially if you want to increase your business’ visibility. Whether in content marketing or digital marketing, SEO is very important. That’s why SEO experts like SEO specialists or strategists are in high demand. 

38. The most in-demand design & creative skill on Upwork is Graphic design 

(Upwork)

39. A quarter (¼) of Americans are working remote-first or mostly remote 

(Upwork)

Additionally, up to 71% of companies expect remote work to be part of their standard operations going forward. 

40. There are currently up to 60 million Americans freelancing 

(Upwork)

In Upwork’s latest report, over 60 million Americans are now freelancing. This is more than a 1 million increase from the 2020 report where 59 million Americans are freelancing. This shows that more people in the U.S. workforce are opting for the freelancing option to increase their income and get a better work-life balance. 

41. American freelancers contribute up to $1.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually 

(Upwork)

Upwork Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. 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.

2. What percentage does Upwork take?

For Freelancers, Upwork charges a 10% freelancer service fee for any earnings they make on the platform. Previously, Upwork took 20% of the first $500 income on the platform, 10% for the next $9,500, and 5% when you cross the $10,000 threshold. But they changed earlier this year to a 10% flat fee. 

If you’re an employer, you’ll pay a 5% Client Marketplace fee. 

3. What is my job success score at Upwork?

Your job success score on Upwork indicates client satisfaction with 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.

4. 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.

Also, another popular scam is when freelancers work and submit a project without getting hired first. 

Although freelancers get scammed, clients also get scammed. For example, a “freelancer” may ask for payment before completing the work and would end up never completing it. But this is very rare as Upwork has rules and programs to protect the Client’s interests. 

5. Is Upwork worth it in 2023?

Yes, Upwork is worth it based on two conditions. Although most people believe that Upwork is very saturated with talent, there still are freelancers that get steady Jon offers on the platform. 

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. 

6. 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).

7. 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.

8. Does Upwork have a monthly fee?

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

9. 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 the option 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 a 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.

10. 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 Upwork statistics show that the platform is one of the most preferred platforms for freelancers worldwide.

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

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.

Sources: 

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