Thinknum Alternative Data
Request Demo
Thinknum Login
Questions answered using Thinknum

Fundamental Investors

How many cars has Carmax sold this week compared to the same week last year?

How is foot traffic at Chipotle changing YoY?

What are the industrial companies that are growing and hiring the most?

Quantitative Analysts

How are the number of Twitter followers a leading indicator for company performance?

How are the number of LinkedIn employees a leading indicator for company performance?

Business Inteligence

Which private companies are getting their products picked up by major retailers?

Which private healthcare companies are hiring the most?

Which tech startups are getting the largest increase in mobile app downloads?

Join the investment community and start your week with market insights seen through the lens of alternative web data.

As Upwork cashes in on gig economy, here are its top freelancer categories

1 year ago by Andrew Thompson in Innovation

Call it the gig economy, offshoring, digital nomadism, or just the painful shedding of the employer-employee compact, freelance labor has become so central to the economy that we’ve begun to forgo the idea of a company itself.

Recently, this shift in how the world thinks of labor created  “flash organizations”, or short-term associations of freelancers that link up for the duration of a SoHo popup, release a product, and then disband — no HR departments necessary.

Firms that broker these flash arrangements occupy well trafficked toll booths, and it’s such a position that allowed Upwork ($NASDAQ:UPWK) to recently debut on the NASDAQ with a market capitalization of roughly $2 billion, all without resorting to a nauseating ad campaign.

By creating a platform that matches hirers with freelancers and streamlining all the paperwork, Upwork reduced some of the last bits of friction in the rapid hiring and firing of workers. In doing so, it has, for better or worse, become an employer’s paradise: on October 17, there were about 1.7 million active freelancers on the platform and just over 70,000 jobs.

That’s a ratio of about 24 freelancers per job, and while that ratio varies depending on job category, it never dips into territory that tips the balance out of favor for the employer.



Freelancer to Job Ratio

Customer Service




Accounting Consulting


Admin Support




It Networking


Engineering Architecture


Data Science Analytics


Design Creative


Web Mobile Software Dev




Sales Marketing


Even though more than a hundred customer service freelancers are vying for each position, people in sales and marketing are hardly shoe-ins. And most of those freelancers won’t charge an arm and a leg: nearly 80 percent of all freelancers won’t charge more than $30 an hour.


Rate per Hour 

Number of freelancers

$0 - 10


$10 - 30


$30 - 60




So... go ahead and be a micro CEO for two weeks and hire a few of those freelancers on Upwork. It’ll cost the same amount as a vacation and you’ll finally look cool on LinkedIn.

Join the businesses who have begun to edge out competitors by scouring the web for alternative data.

Request demo
Ready for a personalized tour?

Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson is a freelance journalist. You can find him on Twitter at @asthompson.

Request a demo

We would love to show you how Thinknum will benefit your investment process. To get started, fill out the form and we'll contact you shortly to schedule your demo.

Get Thinknum Media in your inbox

Start the day off with our Weekly Digest.