Are you considering a career in freelancing? If so, it’s important to know the current state of the freelancing industry in the UK. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most recent statistics on freelance work in the UK and how the industry is evolving. We’ll also provide insight into what this means for those looking to get started in freelance work and how to make sure you’re successful. With this information, you can be confident that you have the knowledge and resources to succeed as a freelancer in the UK.
👨💻 Number of Self-employed Workers in The UK 1992-2022 (Statista)
As of November 2022, there were around 4.2 million self-employed workers in the United Kingdom. During this time period, self-employment in the UK has grown steadily, from a low of just 3.2 million in December 2000, to a peak of over five million at the start of 2020.
In the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, however, self-employment has fallen to levels not seen since the middle of 2015. This downturn may be attributed to a number of factors, including rising minimum wage requirements and an overall tightening job market.
Additionally, many small business owners may have chosen to turn to self-employment as a way to avoid mandatory health insurance coverage and other costs associated with large employer structures.
Overall, the growth in self-employment in the UK is likely attributable to a combination of factors including rising demand for independent work and limited availability of traditional full-time employment options for individuals seeking flexibility or greater control over their work schedule.
✅ Demographics of the self-employed
In the UK, the trend of more men being self-employed than women is nothing new. Data shows that this has been the case consistently over the past two decades. The most recent figures indicate that over 2.76 million men and 1.5 million women were self-employed in the country. The majority of self-employed individuals are middle-aged (aged 45–54), with around 1.3 million people in this age group being self-employed. This suggests that middle-aged people have the highest self-employment rates overall.
The third quarter of 2020 saw around 821 thousand self-employed workers in the UK based in the London region, with a further 707 thousand based in South East England. There are several possible explanations for this trend. Some researchers have suggested that more men are becoming entrepreneurs and starting their own businesses due to economic changes and increased flexibility in labor markets (e.g., increased competition for skilled workers). Others have suggested that women are more likely to pursue traditional career paths such as working for companies instead of starting their own businesses.
However, it is also possible that there is a real gender gap in self-employment across different countries and industries (e.g., women may be less likely to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities due to social or cultural norms). In any case, it is clear that there is a consistent pattern of more men being self-employed than women across multiple countries and industries and at various points in time.
✅ Self-employment support scheme
In response to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the United Kingdom (UK) government has enacted a number of measures to mitigate the economic costs to businesses and individuals. These measures include the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which was in its third iteration by December 2020. During the first tranche, there were 2.7 million claims made overall, with claims to the second and third tranches numbering 2.4 million and 1.7 million respectively.
As of December 13, 2020, the overall value of these claims amounted to 14.5 billion pounds. This scheme allows self-employed workers to receive financial support from the government while they continue their businesses during periods when they are unable to work due to illness or other reasons. In addition, it provides recovery grants for those who have lost income due to illness or business closures.
Finally, it offers a three-year extension for existing self-employed workers who are struggling financially following a business closure or illness. Overall, these measures have helped mitigate some of the economic costs associated with an outbreak of a highly contagious virus like the coronavirus.
🤔 What Are The Most Popular Roles Amongst Freelancers?
- Business Support (22%)
- Design (20%)
- Writing and Translation (17%)
- Sales and Marketing (13%)
- Video, Photo and Audio (9%)
- Website Development (9%)
- Software Development and Mobile (6%)
- Social Media (4%)
🤓 Is Going Freelance Worth Taking The Risk?
It’s a valid question to ask yourself if you want to take the risk of going freelance. Is going freelance worth it? Well, that depends on a number of factors, but generally speaking, the answer is yes! Freelancing allows you to work from home or wherever you want, set your own schedule, and choose what type of work you want to do.
- With freelancing comes the opportunity to make money however you like. This can be through a variety of sources such as client projects, services provided, or even just selling your own products.
- On top of that, many freelancers have the flexibility to choose when they work and how much they earn. You have control over your income and can manage your time and life as you see fit.
- Not to mention, there is a wide range of professions and industries that are available to freelance in. So if you’re passionate about something, chances are there’s a chance you can find a job doing it as a freelancer! Overall, going freelance can be an exciting and rewarding path for those who are ready to take the leap.
✅ Related Content
The statistics above reveal that freelancing is becoming an increasingly popular option for people in the UK. With the number of freelancers rapidly increasing and new opportunities available, it is clear that this trend is likely to continue in the near future. Whether you are looking to start a freelance career or just want to know more about the industry, the statistics above provide a comprehensive overview of the state of freelancing in the UK. As the demand for freelance services continues to grow, it is important to stay informed on how this sector is evolving and changing. With this knowledge, you can make sure that you are well-positioned to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.