London experiences 59% boom in freelance workers

Number of female freelancers in the capital has increased by 95% since 2008, compared to 55% nationwide

The number of freelancers in London has seen a 59% increase since 2008, equating to 159,200 people, according to the latest research from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE).

This means that 21% of the UK’s two million freelancers now live in Greater London, making it the fastest growing region for freelance workers.

Over the same period there has been a 95% rise in the number of female freelancers in the capital – compared to a 55% increase UK-wide – while the number of male freelancers has grown by 40%.

At 45, the average age of freelancers in London is slightly lower than the national average of 47. Nationwide, 18% of freelancers work in artistic, literary and media professions – the largest occupational group in the UK.

The research also found that UK freelancers collectively generate £119bn for the economy.

Chris Bryce, IPSE CEO, commented: “London is a global powerhouse in innovative, flexible and advanced work. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the capital is a hub for freelancers.

“[…] However, we must all recognise the striking rise in women freelancing in London, and ensure they are properly supported in this way of working. In areas such as Maternity Pay the self-employed receive reduced support. At IPSE we’re working to see this change.”

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