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November, 2012
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The Role of Freelancers in the 21st Century British Economy

This report is motivated by the view that the economy has changed sufficiently to warrant a re-appraisal of the roles of freelancers. In this report we analyse the use of freelancers in 23 firms comprising a mix of corporations and SMEs of varying ages from recent start-ups to more mature organisations. These businesses are drawn from some of the major industries driving the British economy including manufacturing, information and communications, financial services, and professional, scientific and technical activities. It examines the roles and functions that freelancers serve in these industries and assesses how effective they are in adding value. It finds that freelancers serve a different function to employees in terms of their role in the innovation-driven economy.

Andrew Burke