A new economic report suggests an increase in day rates has contributed to a surge in optimism among the UK's freelancers, despite rising business costs.
The study, conducted by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, found that daily earnings are beginning to show early signs of recovery among those choosing self-employment – bucking the wider trend for wage stagnation.
Meagan Crawford, Senior Economic Policy Advisor at IPSE and author of The Freelancer Confidence Index, said:
"The results of our survey show that business performance is strengthening in the UK and freelancers are cautiously optimistic about their business prospects in the months ahead.
"Day rates for freelancers are showing early signs of increasing which bucks the trend for wage stagnation in traditional employment. Businesses are increasingly tapping into the highly specialist skills that freelancers provide on a flexible basis and freelancers are benefitting from this increasing demand.
"Although businesses costs have risen, with most freelancers expecting to see this increase continue over the next 12 months, the impact of this is softened by evidence of growth in contracts and revenue. Overall, it is clear that there is strengthening business confidence among freelancers which is good news for the economy at large."
Key findings from the Freelancer Confidence Index:
• Research shows that daily earnings are beginning to show early signs of recovery with an increase from £490 in Q2 to £507 in Q3 of this year.
• The number of contracts undertaken by independent professionals has risen over the last three months and 44% of freelancers expect the availability of contracts to increase.
• Most independent professionals expect the cost of running a business (such as costs for marketing and technology) will increase over the next 12 months with a ratio of nearly 16 to 1 who expect costs to rise.
• Overall, freelancers are more confident about the performance of their own business rather than the wider economy.