April 28 ,2016 | by Claire Payne

Freelancers contribute over £100bn to UK economy, research shows

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Freelancers contributed over £100 billion to the UK economy in 2015, according to research published by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE).

The research showed that freelancers now make up 6 per cent of the UK’s workforce, with 1.91 million people freelancing at the end of 2015 - up by 36 per cent since 2008.

Increases

The research showed an increase in the number of mothers choosing to embark on a freelance career, with a 70 per cent rise over the past eight years.

There has also been a 63 per cent increase in the number of people over 60 starting up a freelance career, and a 51 per cent increase in freelancers aged 16 to 29.

The research also looked at the type of freelance careers that people are choosing. It found that 17 per cent of all freelancers work in media and art, whilst 7 per cent work in teaching and education.

Contribution

According to IPSE CEO Chris Bryce, the amount that freelancers are contributing to the UK economy is a “conservative estimate” - they may actually be contributing more.

He stated that freelancers make an “enormous contribution” to businesses across the UK and to the economy as a whole every day.

Commenting on the research, he said that it shows that the vast majority of people who choose a freelance career love the work that they do, and so it is “no surprise” that the numbers are increasing.

 

Claire Payne is a journalism graduate and News Writer for LSBF. She writes about SMEs, education and careers, entrepreneurship, women in business, and sustainability.

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