In total there were 1.91 million freelancers in 2015, a rise of 36 per cent since 2008, according to new research conducted by Kingston University and commissioned by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed. Notably, 1.65 million choose to freelance as their main job, with 255,000 do so as a second job. In total, freelancers now account for six per cent of the UK workforce.

The research, launched at IPSE’s flagship policy conference, suggests that a conservative estimate of freelancers' contribution to the UK economy was £109 billion in 2015, and that they might be expected to generate even greater revenue owing to valuable knowledge and skills of these specialist individuals.

The report ‘Exploring the UK Freelance Workforce in 2015’ can be downloaded from the CRSE Research Library.

Also available in the Research Library is the report’s author, Professor John Kitching’s video on ‘Forces Driving the Growth of Freelancers in the UK.’ Filmed at the Annual Global Research Workshop on Freelancing and Self-Employment 2015, in his video, Kitching discusses the constraints on the self-employment sector, as well as the ways in which the sector has expanded in recent years.