Ipse: Greater London freelancers rise by 59%

Monday 6 March 2017

The number of freelancers in Greater London has jumped by 59 per cent since 2008, new findings reveal.

Research from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (Ipse) found that 21 per cent of the two million contractors in the UK live in Greater London. This makes for the fastest rise in freelance numbers in Great Britain.

Nearly one in five (18 per cent) of the freelancers operate in the artistic, literary and media professions. This group is the biggest of all freelancers and Greater London makes for a quarter of all people working in the field.

Since 2008, there has been a 95 per cent rise in the number of female freelancers in the capital, compared to 55 per cent jump across the country. When it comes to male contractors, there has been a 40 per cent jump in the same period. 

Chris Bryce, Ipse chief executive, 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.”

Mr Bryce went on to say that the striking rise of women freelancing in London needs to be recognised, adding that areas such as maternity pay and self-employed support need to be looked at.

By becoming self-employed, professionals can benefit from a better work/life balance and put themselves in charge of their own schedule. You can search for projects that are best suited to your skills, rather than having to do menial tasks you’re not interested in. 

Freelancer and contractor accountants can also be a massive help, taking away much of the stress associated with handling taxes and other regulations that those fresh out of full-time work may not be fully aware of. 

Ben Matthews, director of London-based digital marketing agency Montfort, spoke to Ipse about his experience working freelance, noting that it gave him freedom and flexibility he didn’t receive in full-time work.

Mr Matthews added that he can choose who, when and how he works for clients and is often rewarded with a higher income as a result of the financial risks involved with freelancing.

He explained that, while an entrepreneurial spirit is required for contractors, the lifestyle provides significant benefits. 

By Victoria McDonnell

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