As the UK’s professional contracting market matures, Umbrella Company Employees and other professional freelancers are choosing to live in the most affluent urban and rural areas of the UK.

So says new research from contractor talent management service, the Professional Representation Network, which found that the most affluent London boroughs attract significantly more contractors than the overall London average, accounting for 18 per cent of the working population in both Barnet and Kensington & Chelsea and 13.6 per cent in Richmond-upon-Thames (the overall average was 11.9 per cent).

Many are also choosing to live in rural areas containing National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural beauty, such as South Lakeland, where they account for 21.3 per cent of the working population, the Lake District and Dorset (18.7 per cent each) and West Devon (18.5 per cent). The rise of superfast broadband connections and cloud computing, both of which permit more remote working, is believed to account for this choice.

At £524 per week on average, contractor income was higher in local authorities with the largest proportion of professional contractors (around 15 per cent of the overall workforce).

Professional Representation Network Director Kristian Gourlay, said:

“Earning above national average incomes means that contractors can pick and choose where to live in and that means they are clustering in some of the most desirable areas in the UK.

The contracting market has matured in the last few years as the model offers flexibility to the contractor and the companies using their services. The more aware professionals become of contracting and its benefits more will opt for this as a career path.”

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