Freelancer pay returns to pre-pandemic levels

Freelancers’ earnings have made “a remarkable recovery” to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2021, according to new research by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE).

In Q1 2021, freelancers’ average quarterly earnings stood at £20,778 – a 20% increase from £17,283 at the end of 2020, the research showed. “The rise is due to an increase in both their day rates and the amount of work they did at the start of this year,” IPSE explained.

Freelancers’ average spare capacity, or the number of weeks they go each quarter without work, dropped from 4.3 weeks to 3.7 weeks. “Although this is still not quite back to pre-pandemic levels – 3.3 weeks in Q1 2020 – on average, freelancers compensated by raising their day rates: £445 on average, the highest since Q3 2019.