This week we’ve scoured web to find all the latest contractor news – stories, trends and research affecting the world of the modern independent professional. Read on to discover our top picks of the latest stories affecting the industry.
More than 80% of new freelancers are female
Freelance UK has this week reported on official labour market figures that claim that more than eight in ten of the people who became self-employed in the final three months of last year were women. IPSE commented that the 2% rise in the overall number of self-employed people in the UK is almost entirely made up of women. This significant increase has been attributed to the apparent upsurge of women spotting emerging lifestyle trends and going in to business to capitalise on this insight.
If this increase spills over to the worrisome gender gap in the UK’s engineering skills crisis, could we see the start of a close on that divide in the near future?
Study reveals freelancers happier and wealthier
Good news for independent professionals from Brighton University this week. City A.M. reports on a study conducted by the university’s business school that found that being your own boss lead to greater levels of job satisfaction and average earnings that far exceed the nation’s average.
There has been much ink spilled about the lifestyle benefits that a freelance lifestyle offers people, including flexibility in working hours and location. We feel that the benefits of freelancing certainly outweigh the perceived negatives. We’ve dealt before with time management and the key issues every freelancer must consider, and the recent swell in self-employed individuals across the UK suggests that many more people are buying into this exciting and dynamic way of life.
UK freelancers cautiously optimistic about 2015
The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), in conjunction with Elance-oDesk, the online freelance job marketplace, conducted a freelance confidence survey earlier this year that discovered that freelancers have a cautious optimism about the coming business year
Factors such as the upcoming General Election are thought to influence the way that freelancers feel about their financial and business prospects in 2015. How has your business fared since the coalition government came to power? Do you feel that a change in ruling party would have a significant impact on your prospects for the future?
To read a full, in-depth analysis of the Freelancer Confidence Index, visit the IPSE site here.
Freelancers unite to get sickness and other employment benefits
The Guardian takes an in-depth look at groups springing up across Europe that are seeking to fix the problems that are commonly associated with freelancing, rather than endure the long wait associated with trying to effect political and legal change.
Covering issues such as sickness pay and chasing clients for late payment of invoices, the piece looks at the concept of industry wide mutual support in Europe in comparison to the UK and provides real food for thought at the innovative and unique ways that freelancers find to combat uncertainty while running successful businesses.