Freelancers are one of the major demographics to drive the growing demand for coworking spaces. And, with self-employed professionals constantly on the rise–the number of freelancers saw a 6% increase year-over-year in the last three years.
A new report from CoWorking Cafe found that the rise of self-employed workers reached new heights in 2021, with more than 6 million freelancers operating across the U.S. The report calculated the number of coworking spaces per 1,000 freelancers in the cities with populations higher than 300,000 where freelancing has grown the most in the last three years.
- Despite witnessing a significant rise in the share of self-employed workers, most cities across the nation are underserved in terms of coworking spaces, with an average of just three flexible workspaces per 1,000 freelancers.
- The highest numbers of freelancers were in the Southern and Western regions – the South claimed 2.3 million freelancers, while the Western region claimed 1.5 million.
- At a local level, the highest growth among freelancers between 2019 and 2021 was recorded in Newark, NJ, which increased by 85%, Stockton, CA, with a 69% increase and Nashville, TN, with a growth of 57%. However, these cities are underserved by the coworking market, as they only check two, one and three coworking spaces per 1,000 freelancers, respectively.
- Despite seeing a significant decrease of 10% in its number of freelancers, the highest density of coworking spaces was registered in Pittsburgh, PA–12 locations per 1,000 freelancers, followed by Irvine, CA, with 11 locations.
- Remote workers have grown significantly in Washington, D.C., more than 142,000 more people worked from home in 2021 compared to 2019—an increase of more than 500%. The city’s nine coworking spaces per 1,000 freelancers concludes that the coworking segment is mostly driven by remote workers, startups or entrepreneurs.
“A trend that was already on an upward trajectory since 2010, the rise of self-employed workers reached new heights in 2021 with more than 6 million freelancers operating across the U.S. and a 6% year-over-year growth in the last three years. At the same time, the dramatic increase in working from home that was initially enforced by COVID-19 regulations, has quickly transitioned into the new norm for many businesses. In fact, in 2021, that translated into 27 million remote workers—a whopping 207% growth in the last three years,” said Laura Pop-Badiu, a creative writer for CoworkingCafe and author of the report. “Accordingly, the growth in flexible space was also significant. JLL reported that flexible workspaces accounted for roughly 12 million square feet across the nation in 2010. And now, CommercialEdge data from September 2022 shows that coworking spaces cover more than 120 million square feet across 5,800 locations in the U.S.—a clear sign that increasing demand for coworking spaces is motivating operators, owners and developers to consider adding flexible workspaces to their portfolios.”
For the full report, click here.