The number of independent professionals in the UK has reached 1.88 million, with women, especially freelance moms, leading the way in deciding to work alone.
Research commissioned by Kingston University IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, shows a 35.1% jump since 2008 among highly skilled professionals who choose to work independently. Of these, a large proportion are women (up to 41.2%) compared to men (up to 30.5%), and the number of mothers who prefer to work in this way has increased by almost 60%.
Freelancers are highly skilled knowledge workers who offer their services on a contract-by-contract basis. Often referred to as freelancers, contractors, or micro-enterprises, these professionals work on projects of limited duration for their clients.
Since 2008, the number of young people (16-29 years old) choosing independent work has increased by 26%, and independent professionals over 60 years of age – by 47%.
Commenting on the results, Sunita Johal, Head of Research, Education and Training at IPSE, said:
“This study adds to a growing body of evidence of structural rather than cyclical labor market change. The numbers are impressive; an increase of 8.7% in the total number of independent professionals per annum and a huge increase of 35.1% since 2008 has resulted in 1.88 million people now working in the UK.
Breaking down the indicators by sector sheds light on how this growth was achieved. Information technology and communications increased by 71%, while health care, arts and literature increased by almost 100%.
In addition, the number of freelance mothers has increased significantly. This shows that the flexibility that independent work offers is becoming more and more attractive to those who prioritize work-life balance.”
> Picture: freelance mom via shutterstock