The Rise of Freelancers and Remote Workers

posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 in Grow Cedar Valley

During a recent staff meeting Nicole Sallis asked if remote and freelancers in the Cedar Valley have an impact on our local economy.   The short answer is yes!   But not before we had a good conversation on how. 

For example, if 44 people in the Cedar Valley are remote workers or freelancers and they created a direct annual household earnings of $2,716,435 and that created another $1,680,175 in indirect household earnings ($4,396,610 total household earnings) this would generate a total of $4,316,848 in annual personal disposable income and consumer expenditure of $4,303,182 in our regional economy annually.  We know the number of remote or freelancers in our communities is much larger than this example.

The economic impact of freelancers and remote workers on our economy cannot be underestimated. Most often these individuals are employed or provide contracting services for businesses that aren’t located in our community and most often outside the State of Iowa.   The earnings freelancers and remote workers create are new monies coming into our communities and state!

This lifestyle will continue to shift the landscape and competition to recruit this workforce or retain them in a community is keen.   Some communities in other states have offered incentives to attract remote workers, though the long-term effectiveness of this strategy remains uncertain.  

Just like employers, communities must continue to invest in their culture and development to create the kind of environment that people desire.

We extend our gratitude to all remote workers and freelancers who have chosen the Cedar Valley as their home, contributing to the economic vitality of our region.

Lisa Rivera Skubal, CEcD

Vice President of Economic Development