Contract Workers Are Seeing Pay Decline

sampleofficeOne reason your salary might not have kept pace with general trends in recent years is the increasing shift to contracting. Flexibility is one of the great benefits of a contract/freelance lifestyle, but a recent survey suggests increased earnings won't necessarily follow.

Picture from Wikimedia Commons

The study of 256 independently contracted workers by Monash University for Entity Solutions suggests that one in four "independent professionals" have seen a cut in their pay, while almost half expect that they'll need to be more flexible about the rates they charge. You might be tempted to chalk that up to general economic turmoil, but as we noted in yesterday's discussion of how salaries have changed, average weekly earnings have actually gone up in the last year.

IT workers are a big chunk of the contract market, and also a big percentage of Lifehacker readers. If you've been feeling the pinch money-wise, share your tale of woe in the comments.


    I'm a freelance digital artist. I took a 20% paycut while trying to figure out rates to charge and gathering clients in the first 2 years. I'm now back on what I was 4 years ago but I do get more 'time off'. Also, if I could find a permanent job in my city, I would take it, its something I've had to do to survive and I'm getting too old to move around for the work.

    Being out of work 2-3 months of the year,no holiday or sick pay, buying your own software and equipment, training yourself and saving your own super means that daily rate isn't as much as it sounds and I'm not sure all employers realise that. Or newbies getting into the game either.You've also got to cope with different people/contracts/small print/hours/standards and attitudes with every job.

    Budgeting and saving are something I embraced long before the economy went tits up. I hope to steadily earn more clients, experience and money but it depends on the market. Meanwhile I'm wracking my brains to think of some other work I can do in case it doesn't work out, or I burn out, or as an addition to my income.

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