Dutch freelancer wages on the rise

Freelancing (Photo: สุวรรณา วิเศษแก้ว/Wikimedia Commons). (Freelancing (Photo: สุวรรณา วิเศษแก้ว/Wikimedia Commons))

Freelancers in the Netherlands are finally starting to benefit from the growing economy. This year the average hourly rate paid to a freelancer is 46 euros, 7 percent higher than last year, according to a study by Hoofdkraan.nl. 

Hoofdkraan.nl based its study on more than 19 thousand quotations. Freelancers in almost all sectors saw an increase in their hourly rate compared to last year. Freelancers working in financial services even saw an increase of 10 percent to 45 euros per hour. Freelance writers and translators, on the other hand, still get by on an average hourly rate of 39 euros. 

"Finally, freelancers are as benefiting from the improving economy", Niels Goossens, director of Hoofdkraan, said in a press release. He expects the increase to continue this year. According to Goossens, the increased rates can partly be attributed to the tight labor market, which gives freelancers a better competitive position. "So self-employed people can request a market-based hourly rate." Another contributing factor is a change in the behavior of many freelancers, he said. "The freelancer professionalizes, is more business-like, requires a higher hourly rate and wants to do business safely online."

There are clear differences in freelancer wages per region. Flevoland freelancers are currently the cheapest with an average hourly rate of 40 euros, while freelancers in Groningen are best paid at 54 euros per hour on average. Freelancers in Drenthe saw their rates increase by a massive 13 percent over the past year, from 37 euros in 2017 to 42 euros this year. Only freelancers in Friesland and Limburg are worse off this year than last, seeing their average rates decrease by 3 percent and 1 percent respectively.

Of the four major cities, freelancers are paid most in Utrecht at 48 euros per hour on average. The Hague follows in second place with 47 euros per hour. Amsterdam freelancers' average rates increased by 5 percent to 44 euros, but Rotterdam freelancers' rates decreased by 10 percent to only 41 euros. 

According to Goossens, the increased rates show that flexible work still pays off in the Netherlands. "Clients struggle to find permanent staff, making freelancers more popular again. More and more clients are now daring to outsource more extensive orders online. This offers great opportunities for freelancers in the Netherlands."

Regional differences were also visible per sector. For example, blog writers in Noord-Brabant are paid 44 euros per hour on average, while their competitors in Gelderland charge an average of 37 euros per hour. Utrecht photographers charge 55 euros per hour, while photographers in Friesland only charge 40 euros.