A new poll conducted by the PCG (previously the Professional Contractor’s Group) has found that a majority of freelancers working through umbrella companies and limited companies are robustly confident about the future, even in the context of continued economic gloom.
2,000 contractors working in a variety of sectors were polled. Three quarters had maintained themselves in contract duties for at least eleven of the last twelve months, and a thundering 84% believe that regular opportunities for contract work will continue or rise in the coming year.
Contractors may well be better equipped to manage the uncertainties of turbulent economic conditions, as a degree of unpredictability vis-à-vis placements is intrinsic to freelancing. Most positively favour the fact that they are not tied down to the routines of a permanent role.
The impact of public sector cuts has been felt by some – 13% had ‘switched sides’ from public to private since 2010 in the wake of the government’s austerities. Over half do not anticipate any reduction in pay rates for their services – 33% had actually seen their rates increase over the last twelve months, while 51% saw no change.
The PCG’s Managing Director, John Brazier, said “We are not at all surprised freelancers are in demand, they are the natural accelerants of the economy as UK Plc gets back on its feet. However, our members report it’s been a tough road particularly those who saw local public sector work dry up and had to revise their business plans, but our members have demonstrated their adaptability by securing contracts in the private sector.”
He urged the government to help freelancing flourish by cutting unnecessary red tape.