As inflation continues to rise, but salaries stagnate, many households feel a pinch on their budget. Now, figures suggest more and more professionals in full-time work are turning to freelance jobs, to boost their monthly income. The number of full-time workers taking freelance jobs grew by 20% in 2022. That’s according to a popular online platform matching freelancers to clients. We spoke to some of those professionals to find out more.
Mr. Lee stares at the screen. Speed is the name of the game, whether he’s applying special effects to a client’s video, adding subtitles, or editing the footage.
My salary now is NT$35,000-NT$40,000 a month. I rent an apartment in Taipei, so I have rent, I pay for all my own meals, and then there’s things like insurance, leisure… It all adds up to a lot of expenses.
Professional video editor, Mr. Lee, says inflation is making his living costs spiral. Now, alongside his full-time job, he’s started taking on extra freelance work.
One video is about NT$6,000. I usually do one a month. But sometimes when there are more jobs available, I do more – I once did three in one month, and earned NT$18,000.
Mr. Lee takes on as much work as he can, and his earnings fluctuate from month to month. Another creative professional in the same situation is Miss. Chiu.
As a graphic designer, Miss. Chiu’s full-time job pays her less than NT$40,000 a month. She earns an extra NT$10,000 to NT$20,000 each month with freelance gigs. Pay rises have lagged way behind inflation in the last two years. According to data from this freelancer’s platform, more and more professionals with full-time jobs are turning to freelance work to supplement their income: the demographic grew by 20% in 2022. Most can make NT$5,000-NT$15,000 a month through freelance projects.
Freelancer platform owner
Right now, we can see that the number of people in full-time work who take freelance jobs on the side has grown particularly. Last year the demographic grew by about 20%.
In this precarious economy, many employees are not holding their breath for a pay rise. More and more professionals are concluding that the freelancing lifestyle is the best bet to balance their budget.