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Percentage of jobs left unfilled

Active Member
Liv D Member Since: Jul 29, 2016
1 of 21

I am new to Upwork.  Over the last two months or so I've been monitoring jobs in my category of interest -- those I've applied to, and others I've bookmarked -- and the vast majority (like 90%) of them have seem to remain unfilled. I was wondering if anyone can point me toward statistics on the number of Upwork job postings that actually get filled.  If more than half commonly remain unfilled, then I think I need to spend my time doing something other than applying to upwork jobs...

Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
2 of 21

Setu M (freelancer) has done up some stats concerning jobs filled if i remember right. If he hasn't worked on anything he's probably really busy working. Smiley Happy 

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
3 of 21

Well, all you actually know is whether these jobs were filled through Upwork.  Many jobs get filled on other platforms and/or face to face interviews.

Active Member
Liv D Member Since: Jul 29, 2016
4 of 21

Yeah, that is unfortunate since it would indicate many people breaking Upwork's policies.


This is the data by Setu M. and I found it useful.  Looks like out of the sample he followed, close to half the jobs remained unfilled after 30 days.  With those kinds of numbers, doesn't make a lot of sense to spend a lot of time applying for jobs.

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
5 of 21

There is no Upwork policy that prohibits clients from posting their jobs on other forums or from hiring elsewhere.

Active Member
Liv D Member Since: Jul 29, 2016
6 of 21

Oh, I thought you were suggesting the clients found a freelancer via their Upwork job post, but hired outside of Upwork.  I suppose either is a possiblity, along with many other reasons jobs might remain unfilled.

Community Guru
Scott E Member Since: Jul 26, 2015
7 of 21

"With those kinds of numbers, doesn't make a lot of sense to spend a lot of time applying for jobs."


Although if you submit twice as many proposals, then it would be like 100% of jobs resulting in a hire. Kind of. 

"Welcome, humans. I'm ready for you!"
- Box, Logan's Run (1976)
Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
8 of 21

In my observation the vast majority go unfilled, but you have to play both the numbers and the long game.  Over a period of 3-5 months after starting I was able to amass enough clients that several have had consistent work for the last 6 months.  As time permits I can go out and try for new opportunities which may take a while but it only needs a few or even just one good client.  Also I am now much more picky than when I first started and needed to get a profile going.  There is so much *bleep* when I read the job postings that I'll just zoom right by.  Cannot really do that at the beginning but after you get traction things can build upon themselves if you keep at it and deliver great work.  However, again the reality that I see is that most go unfilled and many more are garbage postings.  But there are good one's and those can build lasting relationships if you deliver.   

Community Guru
Miroslav M Member Since: Jan 21, 2016
9 of 21
So, there is a persistent low filling rate on Upwoork, and it seems even to me through my proposals and client interaction that this trend is on the rise, i.e. the stake of jobs that remain unfilled after 30 is increasing. There mus be either (a) a talent crisis: an average Upworker delivers weak and dissatisfying service, or (b) an average client is expecting too much when they discover Upwork, (c) lack of trust in communicadion which makes us and clients excessively cautious while negotiating, finally (d) mix of all that.
Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
10 of 21

Hi Miroslav,


Just to add another reason to the list, without stating its frequency, is when a client expands or changes the scope of the original job after an interview with a preferred freelancer, and hires them through Upwork but outside the original job post.