By Jonathan London on 27th April 2015

UK contractor numbers continue to rise

Many more people are opting to become their own boss, according to new research.

A study produced by Kingston University and commissioned by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has concluded that there are now more than 1.88 million freelancers and contractors in the UK.

In particular, there has been a strong increase in the number of female professionals who are looking to start their own successful business, with a 41.2 per cent rise in numbers since 2008, compared to 30.5 per cent growth in the number of males.

It is thought many women find being a contractor offers more much flexibility and helps them balance work with other commitments, such as children.

Young people are also showing growing interest in being their own boss, with a 26 per cent increase in those aged between 16 and 29 registering as self-employed.

However, it is not just the younger generation who are realising the benefits of setting up on their own. There has been a 47 per cent rise in those aged over 60 who are now running their own business.

Suneeta Johal, head of research, education and training at IPSE, explained: “This research adds to the mounting evidence of a structural, rather than cyclical, change to the labour market.

“Breaking down the sectoral figures sheds light on how this growth has been achieved. Information technology and communications has seen a 71 per cent increase in numbers, while health and the art and literary sectors have both seen an almost 100 per cent increase.”

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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