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Two million UK freelancers contributed £119 billion to economy

Staff Writer |
Freelancers contributed £119 billion to the UK economy in 2016, a rise of £10 billion from the previous year, according to IPSE.

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It said the contribution was driven by a highly skilled flexible workforce of two million freelancers – a 43 percent increase since 2008.

Freelancers continue to be the fastest-growing segment of the wider 4.8 million self-employed population, making up 42 percent of the sector and with a collective economic output "comparable to that of the entire motor sales industry."

The number of female freelancers has increased by 55 percent from 2008, against 36 percent for men. And there has been a 79 percent increase in mothers working as freelancers since 2008.

Millennials have also driven the growth, with a 66 percent rise in freelancers aged 26-29 since 2008.

The largest proportion of freelancers still falls within the 40-49 and 50-59 age brackets, accounting for 48 percent of the industry.

The fastest-growing freelance occupations since 2008 were among health professionals, where there was a 191 percent rise.

Artistic, literary and media roles and sports and fitness professions have also seen a 103 percent increase respectively.

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