AUSTIN, Texas — For about six years, Alanna Sharp has taken advantage of the growing tech industry in Central Texas.
What You Need To Know
- Gig economy is one of the fasting growing industries in the state
- Skilled independent work boosted during pandemic
“So I’m a freelance copywriter. I specialize in writing copy for online presence for small businesses in particular,” she said.
Thanks to services like Fiverr, freelancers like Sharp are able to connect with businesses needing digital services and right now the industry is thriving. It's a trend according to a new report by Fiverr which looked at Census Bureau, Federal Reserve and Labor data.
“The big takeaways are that skilled independent work is growing. Particularly now during this time with COVID-19,” said Fiverr's Vice President of Public Policy and Community Brent Messenger.
While many industries have taken a hit during the pandemic, some freelance workers are experiencing the opposite and that's because of the widespread pivot to digital services.
“I haven’t seen a downturn in work. If anything, I’ve seen a slight uptick just because a lot of folks are refocusing. They’re going from the brick and mortar side of things to more online,” said Sharp.
But while freelancers like Alanna are thriving, the industry is still vulnerable. Some point to New York City as an example of a place that has enacted policies which have benefitted independent skilled worker policies like the Freelance Isn’t Free Act.
“That helps independent workers collect on unpaid invoices and it gives them other protections in the work they do,” said Messenger.
Freelancers say it’s on decision-makers here in Texas to help the industry grow even more.
“The gig economy is a big thing and it does feel like at times you are passed over if you aren’t necessarily working on someone’s payroll,” said Sharp.
It’s an industry that shows no signs of slowing down.
“We’re sort of living through a digital transformation as a society. We expect more and more people to be working online over time,” said Messenger.