UK freelancing grows by 12%

The prime minister applauded the growth in the freelance community after new research revealed a 12 per cent increase in the number of people opting to become freelancers.

Figures by Kingston University and the PCG show that the number of freelancers in the UK now totals 1.56 million – the equivalent to 1 in 20 in the UK workforce. This is up from the previous figure of 1.4 million in 2008.

Released to celebrate National Freelancers Day, held last week, the figures drew comment from David Cameron.

Speaking at the time, the PM said: “I have a huge respect for all those who make the brave decision to branch out on their own and take control over the way they work.

“This government recognises the valuable contribution that freelancers make to the economy and, as more and more people choose to join your ranks, you have all our support.”

Within the workforce, the dataset shows that the biggest chunk of freelancers work in arts, literary and media roles (265,000); management (161,000), teaching/education (110,000), and, in fourth, IT/Telecommunications (93,000).

“The figures underline the steady growth in the sector in turbulent times”, reflected John Brazier, PCG managing director.

“More and more skilled and talented individuals are opting for freelancing as a work-lifestyle choice, or because of economic circumstances. Freelancers are offering industry and commerce a flexible talent stream when and where it is needed.”

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