Earning power of freelancers and self-employed in Japan falls

About 37% of freelance workers surveyed expect their incomes to be lower than before the pandemic going forward.
By: | April 1, 2022

This was according to a survey conducted by a Tokyo-based general incorporated association of self-employed workers.

The survey results recently released by the professional and parallel career freelance association attributed the fall to increased difficulty in winning new business projects. More specifically, responses included “incoming order amounts from existing clients are down” and “winning new business by meeting people is more challenging due to the pandemic’s effects”, said Mari Hirata, the association’s head director.

The highest proportion of respondents, at 29%, earned an annual income of between 2 million yen (US$$16,404) and less than 4 million yen (US$$32,809), followed by 22% of freelancers earning less than 2 million yen (US$16,404), and 18% who earned between 4 million yen (US$$32,809) and less than 6 million yen (US$$49,212).

The association surveyed freelance workers online between November and December last year, and received valid responses from 1,236 people.

READ: Japan’s unemployment rate in February falls to 2.7%

The association also published the results of a separate survey on workers in the food-delivery industry such as Uber Eats, which received valid responses from 13,844 people, including sole proprietors delivering food as their main means of earning a living and people in other situations such as employed individuals doing deliveries as a side job.

The most cited response as to why people started food delivery work was insufficient income, with 21% of respondents reporting a fall in income due to the pandemic, according to The Mainichi.