The Office for National Statistics’ latest self-employment figures show that 4.5 million people across the UK are now working as contractors. The flexible workforce is a growing force in the UK’s economy, with the IT sector playing a huge part in the contractor revolution.

Nixon Williams’ Contractor Survey 2015 recently revealed that a significant number of contractors are working in the IT sector, with many of these taking up roles as contract designers, software test analysts, security consultants, business analysts and programmers in London.

The Bank of England’s quarterly bulletin also notes that self-employment has been a key driver in employment since 2010, with periods of stronger growth pushing the total contractor workforce north of 4.5 million.

Nixon Williams CEO Simon Curry said: “The latest figures demonstrate the importance of the self-employment sector to the UK economy. Using contractors allows businesses to maximise opportunities, become more innovative and expand their skill set.”

He added: “For contractors, the rewards are higher rates of pay, more flexibility and a better work-life balance. It’s a situation where potentially everyone wins.”

IT is currently thriving but construction remains the largest sector for contractors, while retail, management, legal accounting services, eduction and health are all supporting significant pools of contract workers.

Mr Curry concluded: “Advances in cloud computing, contactless payment systems and cybersecurity mean growth for the UK’s technology sector is set to continue, and that means opportunities for self-employed IT professionals.”

Nixon Williams’ survey also found that the average contractor is male, aged between 31 and 40, located in London, and earning between £500 and £750 each day.

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