The great majority of contractors in the United Kingdom believe that opportunities are set to improve across the course of the coming year, according to a new survey. The survey, which was conducted by online jobs board contractjobs.com, had more than 1,000 respondents, including those who work through both umbrella companies and limited companies.

Whilst the great majority claimed that they were envious of a number of the employee benefits that were enjoyed by their permanent counterparts, over 60% of respondents acknowledged that the freedom and flexibility that they have as a result of contracting was more important. Only 5% claimed that they intended to do contract work only on a short-term basis.

Most contractors are very committed to their job, with more than a third – 35.2% – claiming that they would be willing to travel more than 100 miles for a contract, with 58% saying that driving is their preferred mode of transport for getting to and from work. Rising rail fares have dissuaded many from taking the train.

As many as 19.4% of respondents were confident that they would be able to keep up their current lifestyle for more than a year in the event of becoming unemployed, and 18.4% said that they could do so for between two to four months. These statistics suggest that the finances of most contractors are actually in better shape than those of the majority of permanent employees.

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