Freelancer 6 Survey Data

Freelancer 6 Survey Data

CSA Research surveyed freelance linguists worldwide for the sixth time
to see how global conditions have affected them as providers of language services.
These are the overall results from the 407 responses received from language professionals in 74 countries.


See Other Business Confidence Survey Results

How did business change since early 2022?
After improving in late 2021 and February–March 2022, the proportion of freelancers that experienced decreased income has started to rise again. The proportion experiencing declining volumes of work remained largely unchanged since early 2022, as did the trajectory of rates.


What factors are harming freelancers?

Inflation dominates the factors that have harmed linguists since March 2022, affecting more than one-half (56%) and more than one-third cite declining project size (38%) or COVID-19 (34%) as concerns. Other issues rank much lower. Overall, 78% of linguists reported that at least one of these factors has harmed their work.

What has been your experience with demand?
The services with increased demand largely reflect the ones that were growing the most in early 2022– remote simultaneous interpreting (65% in March), over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) or video remote interpreting (VRI) (63%), and edited MT (59%). We asked about one of the leaders – multimedia work in captioning, subtitling, or transcription – for the first time in this survey.


Which factors affect freelancers?

 Price pressure (85%), inflation (74%), and competition from low-cost providers (57%) top the list, and almost one-quarter (22%) of freelancers would like to exit the industry (excluding any existing retirement plans). These results point to an industry facing serious challenges.


Are you optimistic or pessimistic?

In late 2021, 61% of freelancers were optimistic about the future, but this number dropped to just 40% a year later. At the same time those who were pessimistic almost doubled, from 11% to 19% and the number who were uncertain rose from 28% to 41%. The results show that the business climate takes a toll on linguistic talent.



What can LSPs do to help?

Because LSPs account for so much of freelancers’ livelihood, they play an important role in setting the tone for the industry. Four out of five (80%) of freelancers want LSPs to let them adjust rates upward in response to inflation and 62% want them to negotiate for higher rates from clients on their behalf. By contrast, fewer than one-third want different tools or better training, showing that finances are the primary concern they face.