Analysis of 5 Million Freelance Upwork Jobs: Discover Which Ones are affected by AI

By TechStaunch at 2024-02-26 on Business
Analysis of 5 Million Freelance Upwork Jobs: Discover Which Ones are affected by AI

Analysis of 5 Million Freelance Jobs - Discover The Ones affected by AI

It’s clear from the latest Upwork earnings report that tech layoffs aren’t affecting freelance markets like Upwork as much. Revenue grew 14% year over year in their most recent quarter. Which means there won’t be many other factors to account for any declines in job postings.

In the analysis of over 5 million freelancing jobs on Upwork, the study reveals how artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the freelance job market. The investigation spanned from November 2022, to February 2024, focusing on the impact of AI on various job categories. The data, sourced from, highlights significant trends in job volume, hourly pay, and the emergence of AI-related skills.


This blog answers:

  • Which job categories had the highest decrease in volume
  • Which job categories were the least impacted
  • Which job categories had the highest decrease in hourly pay
  • Which AI skills had the highest increase in job postings

Which jobs had the highest decrease in volume?

The study observed that while most job categories saw an increase in job volume, writing, translation, and customer service experienced notable declines. Writing jobs dropped by 33%, translation by 19%, and customer service by 16%.

Which job categories were the least impacted?

Contrary to the declines, some fields like video editing/production, graphic design, web design, and software development witnessed growth. Video editing jobs surged by 39%, graphic design by 8%, web design by 10%, and software development jobs also saw an uptick.

When it comes to crafting intricate images, current AI tools may not yet meet the mark for detail-rich requirements. Similarly, while some AI applications can produce impressive video sequences, their capability to generate comprehensive trailers or instructional videos for consumers is still in its infancy. However, this landscape could shift in the coming months as these technologies evolve.

Another aspect to consider is the learning curve associated with these tools. Users need time to master their functionalities and limitations. For instance, the decline in writing job postings on platforms like Upwork became noticeable shortly after the introduction of ChatGPT. Yet, it wasn't until almost 10 months later that a significant downturn was observed, suggesting a period of adaptation and understanding of the tool's impact on such tasks.

Which job categories had the highest decrease in hourly pay

The analysis of estimated hourly pay ranges revealed that translation jobs faced over a 20% decrease in hourly rates, with video editing/production and market research also seeing reductions. However, graphic and web design jobs not only grew in volume but also saw slight increases in hourly pay.

Which AI skills had the highest increase in job postings

Despite the decline in traditional roles, the demand for AI-related skills is on the rise. Notably, the development of chatbots has seen a staggering 2000% increase in job postings, highlighting the growing importance of integrating AI technologies like OpenAI's ChatGPT into business operations.


  • The introduction of ChatGPT has significantly decreased the availability of writing, customer service, and translation jobs on Upwork.
  • In contrast, web design, graphic design, software development, and video production have shown resilience, with stable or increasing demand.
  • The question remains whether the limitations lie in the current capabilities of AI tools or in the general public's learning curve to use these technologies effectively.
  • Most companies appear not to be investing in customizing or enhancing large language models (LLMs) for their specific needs, as indicated by the stable demand for data annotation and machine learning roles.
  • The development of chatbots stands out as the most prominent application of AI, highlighting its significant impact and widespread adoption.

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