As the world’s largest freelancing platform, Upwork connects businesses with top talent around the globe. Since its launch in 2015, the platform has seen tremendous growth.
Today, Upwork connects over 750,000 active clients with millions of freelancers, who, in 2021, generated $3.5 billion in gross services volume (GSV).
Upwork continues to grow by cultivating a marketplace filled with highly skilled freelancers and many top employers.
If you’re looking to learn about the gig economy, freelancing, or hiring, these 60+ Upwork statistics are a must-know.
Upwork Statistics (Highlights)
- In 2021, Upwork had 793,000 active clients.
- Upwork’s total gross services volume was $3.5 billion in 2021.
- The average talent GSV for freelancers is $5,850.
- The United States, India, and the Philippines are the top talent geographies for Upwork, with a GSV contribution of 25%, 14%, and 11%, respectively.
- Upwork’s revenue more than doubled from $202.3 million in 2017 to $503 million in 2021.
- Upwork’s website generates over 40 million monthly visits.
Upwork Client Statistics
Clients are individuals or companies that post jobs on Upwork. Since 2019, Upwork has seen a steady growth of new clients.
- As of March 31st, 2022, Upwork had 793,000 active clients. As defined by Upwork, an Active Client is a client that has “spent activity” on the marketplace within the past 12 months.
- Between Q1 2019 and Q1 2022, Upwork has seen the number of active clients increase by 281,000.
- The typical Upwork client has between 10 and 100 employees and 1 and 10 million dollars in annual revenue.
- Most clients are based in the USA and have companies in the services or information technology sector.
- 40% of clients hire in multiple categories. Examples of categories include Accounting & Finance, Translation, and Marketing.
- Currently, more than 300 Enterprise Clients are using Upwork.
- Upwork has seen 125 new Enterprise Clients subscribe to the service in the past year.
Upwork Gross Services Volume
The gross services volume (GSV) measure gives us a clear picture of the total value of freelance work completed on the platform. The volume growth suggests more opportunities for freelancers to find and complete jobs.
- Between 2017 and 2021, Upwork saw a staggering 150% increase in total annual GSV.
- The total GSV for 2021 was $3.5 billion, a $1 billion increase over 2020.
- In 2021, 66% of total GSV generated was from US-based clients.
- Between 2017 to 2021, the proportion of GSV generated by US clients remained almost static, ranging between 66-68%.
|Year||Annual Total GSV||US Clients’ Contribution|
- No other country makes up more than 10% of annual GSV.
Gross Services Volume Per Active Client
GSV includes client spending and any additional expenses such as client fees, subscriptions, and talent service fees, so GSV per active client can give you more insights about the company.
- As of Q1 2022, the average GSV per active client is $4,742.
- Between Q1 2019 and Q1 2022, Upwork saw a 19.89% increase in GSV per Active Client.
- During the initial outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic—between Q2 and Q3 of 2020— GSV per active client dropped for the first time. However, in each subsequent quarter, GSV has increased.
|Date||GSV Per Active Client|
Upwork Client Fees
Clients are charged fees by Upwork on top of the payments made. Upwork makes money from clients by charging transaction fees, subscription plans, and selling payment protection.
- Client payment processing fees are charged at a flat 5% fee per transaction. If you’re a US-based client and pay via ACH, you can reduce your fees to 3%.
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Upwork Freelancer Statistics
Freelancers are the backbone of Upwork. They are the reason clients post job opportunities and use the platform.
It’s important to review the freelancer statistics and identify the most profitable skills to decide whether Upwork is the right platform for you.
- In 2019, Upwork had 2,164,174 freelancers signed up to the platform. Getting a recent and more accurate figure for 2022 is not possible, as Upwork no longer discloses the total number of freelancers.
- Upwork reduced the number of registered users by 1.8 million between February and March 2020. The accounts reduction was likely due to account inactivity, suspicious activity, or poor job performance.
- 1 in 800 freelancers on Upwork makes more than $1000 per month.
- Upwork features clients and freelancers from over 180 countries.
- The average talent GSV for freelancers on Upwork is $5,850.
- 25% of the total $3.5 billion in GSV generated in 2021 was from US-based freelancers, representing over $870 million.
- India and the Philippines make up the 2nd and 3rd largest talent pools between 2018 and today as a measure of GSV.
- For the past five years, the GSV produced by US-based talent remained between 19 and 27%.
- The US-based share of total GSV produced has increased by 6% between 2018 and 2021.
|Year||US-based Talent’s GSV Contribution|
- Upwork charges a variable service fee between 5-20%, which is taken directly out of the freelancer’s earnings.
|Earnings||Upwork Service Fee|
|$10,000.01 or more||5%|
Upwork ascribes badges to freelancers to help clients hire the right candidate. Each badge has different requirements and comes with unique benefits for the freelancer. Earning badges helps freelancers stand out, making a hire more likely to happen.
There are four badges: Top Rated, Top Rated Plus, Expert Vetted, and Rising Talent. These badges are awarded based on several factors, including freelancer earnings, their Job Success Score, etc.
- Top Rated freelancers represent the top 10% of talent on Upwork.
- Top Rated Plus is the most sought-after badge as it reduces Upwork fees by a minimum of 10%.
Upwork Skills and Categories
Upwork features a wide range of skills and categories on its site, helping clients find freelancers with the required expertise.
Here are some key Upwork skills and category statistics.
- On Upwork, there are currently 90 categories, each requiring different skills and expertise.
- Media buyers charge the highest hourly rate, typically between $50 and $200. Media buyers are in charge of advertising campaigns, deciding where to run ads and what type of ads to produce.
- Business consultants charge between $28 to $98 per hour. The responsibility of a business consultant is to help clients with specific issues in their business.
- The average programmer charges between $15 to $150 per hour.
- As of 2020, Objective-C was, on average, the highest-paid programming language on Upwork. Freelancers averaged $66 per hour.
|Copywriter||$19 – $45|
|Web designer||$15 – $30+|
|Digital marketing consultant||$15 – $45|
|Social media manager||$14 – $35|
|Editor||$20 – $40|
|Web developer||$10 – $30+|
|Media buyer||$50 – $200|
|Photographer||$40 – $100|
|Data analyst||$20 – $50|
|Business consultant||$28 – $98|
|Programmer||$15 – $30|
|Videographer||$15 – $30|
|Accountant||$12 – $32|
|Virtual assistant||$12 – $20|
|Public relations manager||$50 – $100|
- Most freelancers are highly educated, with 73% of talent having college degrees.
- There are over 10,000 skills that you can tag your profile with—allowing clients to easily search for freelancers with specific skills that meet their job requirements. Examples of skills are pay-per-click marketing, eCommerce, C++, and payroll accounting.
Upwork Revenue and Financials
Upwork is a publicly-traded company listed on the NASDAQ, making it extremely transparent. Full access to its financial records and reports is available.
Here is a list of some interesting statistical findings.
- Between 2017 and 2021, the company’s total revenue increased by 248%, growing from $202.3 million to $503 million.
- Upwork forecasts its 2022 revenue to be $625 million; some analysts predict that by 2023 it will exceed $700 million.
- For the past five years, Upwork has been unprofitable, losing, on average, $25.3 million per year.
- Analysts predict Upwork will become profitable in 2024, turning in a profit of $1.4 million.
- Upwork’s most unprofitable year was 2021, with a loss of $56.24 million.
|Year||Net Income (or Loss)|
- Freelancer fees generate the majority of Upwork marketplace revenue.
- In 2021, Managed Services made up 7.96% of the total company revenue. Managed Services are when Upwork employs freelancers to complete jobs on its behalf. Upwork manages the job and takes a percentage of the contract value.
- As of Q1 2022, Upwork generated $10.8 million from Enterprise Clients.
- Upwork has increased its Enterprise Client revenue by $6.7 million in the past two years.
|Date||Enterprise Client Revenue|
- Upwork marketplace take rate was 13.2% in 2021 compared to 13.6% in 2020. The company calculates the take rate by dividing marketplace revenue by GSV.
Upwork Website and App Statistics
It should be no surprise that Upwork generates enormous website traffic and hundreds of thousands of monthly app downloads.
Below are some carefully curated website and app statistics.
- Upwork is estimated to get 40.8 million monthly website visits.
- Globally, Upwork ranks as the 918th most visited website on the internet. Domestically, in the United States, it currently ranks 987th.
- Upwork has a low bounce rate of 25.52%, and the average number of page visits is 8.63. These statistics suggest users find the website highly engaging.
- Upwork ranks 29th in the category of Other Computers Electronics and Technology.
- Gender distribution skews toward male freelancers, representing 61.42%, compared with females, representing 38.58%.
- Upwork receives the most website visits from 25-34-year-olds (37.63%), with 18-24-year-olds representing 23.88%.
Upwork also has two mobile apps, one for freelancers and one for clients. Both are available on the App Store and Google Play.
The freelancer app allows you to browse job postings, submit job proposals, send work for review, and get paid. The client app, instead, allows the browsing of freelancer profiles, job postings, proposal management, and freelancer payment.
- The Upwork for Freelancers app is far more popular on Android. In April 2022, Upwork for Freelancers gained 200,000 downloads on Google Play compared to 90,000 on the App Store.
- Upwork for Clients is equally popular on the Android and Apple app stores. In April 2022, Upwork gained 20,000 monthly downloads on each platform.
Upwork also has a desktop app designed for both clients and freelancers. Freelancers on hourly contracts can use the app to log hours, which grants them enhanced payment protection. Clients mainly use the app for collaboration and messaging.
This section gathers the most interesting miscellaneous statistics and information about Upwork and some general freelance statistics.
- As of December 2021, Upwork had 650 employees. The number of employees grew by 20% between December 2020 and December 2021.
- Between December 2019 and December 2020, the number of employees fell by 30, from 570 to 540.
|Date||Number of Employees|
- The median salary for an employee at Upwork is $192,785, or $92 per hour.
- Upwork is rated 4.2 stars out of 5 as an employer.
- 81% of Upwork employees call their work environment positive.
- Upwork was created in 2013 by merging two freelance sites, Elance and oDesk. Between 2013 and 2015, the name of the company was Elance-oDesk. In 2015, Upwork got its name with the closing of the Elance website.
- As of June 2022, Upwork has filed four patents.
- There are an estimated 225 million freelancers worldwide.
- There are 59 million freelancers in the United States.
- Freelancers contributed $1.3 trillion to the US economy in 2021.
- 9 in 10 freelancers believe that the “best days are ahead” for freelancing.
Upwork is undeniably the leading and largest online platform for freelancers. It gained this position by attracting millions of freelancers and hundreds of thousands of active clients.
With increasing revenue growth and expected profitability, Upwork is set to dominate the online freelancer market.
That’s the complete round-up of the most important Upwork statistics for 2023.
If there are any stats, you think we should add or would like more information on, comment below!