As part of yesterday’s National Freelancers Day, new research from PeoplePerHour reveals
150% increase in businesses employing freelance support.
There are now in excess of 4 million self-employed and independent professionals working in the UK, which is the highest in 40 years and highlights the growth of the UK’s ‘Freelance Economy’.
In the run up to this year’s National Freelancers Day, new research from PeoplePerHour reveals that the number of businesses hiring freelance support has already more than double (150%) this year, compared to 2013, with 2 months still left to go.
• Website development is the second most popular skill businesses use freelance support
• Businesses hiring freelance support has more than doubled year on year (150%)
• Software development (197%) and social media (196%) have seen the biggest growth in the number of freelancers
The data reveals that 36% of freelancers were employed to help with design tasks, which was followed by 23% for web development and 14% writing. However, the biggest change from 2013 to this year has been a doubling of the number of businesses employing freelancers to help with software development (197%) and social media (196%), following by a 168% increase in assistance for translation. The research analysed data on the jobs purchased through the PeoplePerHour site in 2013 and 2014 so far, highlighting the broad areas that employers are looking for additional support with and the specific skills they are utilising external help to fulfil.
In terms of specific skills available to businesses from this growing ‘Freelance Economy’, the biggest increase year-on-year has been tenfold (990%) in those employing research writing specialist, with additional increases for manual (668%) and academic (643%) writing skills. This was followed by IT support (719%) and also a range of web or social media tasks, including custom website (628%), social media development (628%) and blog development (583%). The top 10 skills employers have purchased and freelancers are making available online over the past 2 years are:
Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder and CEO at PeoplePerHour.com and SuperTasker.com comments: “The growth in the ‘Freelance Economy’ in the UK offers companies the ability to employ highly skilled talent for specific project requirements. This growth has gone hand in hand with the development of new online platforms to give businesses this access to freelancers at the click of a button. Many associate the move to this new way of working as a drive to cut costs and being more flexible, which all may be true. However, I believe the biggest benefit is a dramatic increase in productivity, driven by the hyper-specialisation and accountability that freelance working encourages.”
This data has also been released in conjunction with SuperTasker.com, which is the latest innovation by PeoplePerHour and allows businesses to outsource and manage high volumes of specific small tasks, quickly and to a curated pool of freelance experts. Unlike existing marketplace models where there is process of selection, price setting and delivery, SuperTasker routes jobs direct to available freelancers for a fixed price. Meaning that whether the job is updating a banner ad, writing a blog post or designing an infographic, businesses can have immediate access to the specialist skills they need.
The findings additionally demonstrate the need for freelance support has during the summer, with figures showing a 64% increase in the freelancer jobs purchased compared to the previous 3 months. The latest data and insight on the ‘Freelance Economy’ is also available via The Freelance Data Hub, which recently launched its public beta.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from PeoplePerHour’s own platform data during the period of January 2013 to October 2014. Further insight and analysis can be provided upon request.