There has been a considerable rise in the popularity of freelance working in the last few years, according to a new industry report.
Figures from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) have shown that the number of freelancers working in Greater London has increased by 59 per cent since 2008, with 21 per cent of the UK’s two million freelancers living in this area.
This makes London the fastest-growing region for freelancer numbers in the country, with 18 per cent of these individuals working in artistic, literary and media professions. This occupational group is the largest among freelancer groups in the UK, with the capital accounting for one-quarter of them.
Chris Bryce, IPSE’s chief executive officer, said: “London is a global powerhouse in innovative, flexible and advanced work. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the capital is a hub for freelancers.
“There are a large number of supportive communities and co-working spaces in the capital, which are changing the freelance game and flexible economy in London for the better.”
The report also showed that there has been a 95 per cent increase in the number of female freelancers in London since 2008, compared to a 55 per cent increase on a national basis, and a 40 per cent rise in male freelancers in London during the same period.
IPSE said it is essential that the government does more to appropriately support this growing demographic, observing that at present self-employed women receive reduced support on key issues such as maternity pay.
Given that freelancers in the UK now make a £119 billion contribution to the national economy, the incentive for attracting more people to this method of working, from the perspective of nationwide prosperity, has never been greater.