Visitors to Zilker Park on a Tuesday afternoon probably have to stop and wonder where all these people are from. Don’t they have work to do?
Maybe they do, but on their own schedules. Fiverr, a marketplace for connecting freelancers and new clients, released its fifth annual Freelancers Economic Impact Report, ranking Austin as the fourth fastest growing city for freelancers.
According to the report, Austin’s self-employed workforce of 77,262 earned $3.4 billion in 2021, compared to the city’s pool of about 57,000 self-employed who earned $2.3 billion. dollars in 2016. The city ranked 17th in size and 16th in independent labor income compared to other cities in the country.
Despite Austin’s artistic inclinations (and how often artists get sucked into the gig economy, like it or not), creatives made up the smallest portion (14.2%) of the city’s freelance revenue. Last year. Skilled professional services accounted for the largest share (46%), followed by skilled technical services (39.7%).
It’s not just that creatives make less money, they’re also the smallest category present in Austin’s freelance workforce.
Two other Texas cities are among the 10 fastest growing cities: Dallas, #8, and Houston, #10. In 2021, about 177,500 workers in Dallas earned $7.6 billion, while about 144,000 workers in Houston earned $6.6 billion. This means that per capita incomes were similar in the top three cities in Texas, with Houston leading (about $46,000) and Austin and Dallas very close (about $44,000 and $43,000, respectively).
Joining Austin, Dallas and Houston in the top 10 were:
1. Orlando, Florida
2. Nashville, TN
3. Miami, Florida
5. Tampa, Florida
6. Las Vegas, Nevada
7. Charlotte, North Carolina
9. Portland, Oregon
Although on the surface the report focuses on geography, it gathered data that shows eight out of 10 freelancers believe they can live anywhere and work anytime. However, less than half said it was ‘a primary factor’ in becoming self-employed, and a third said work was ‘a primary influence’ in their choice of location.
More importantly, 70% of respondents said they were “very satisfied” with working freelance.