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Brexit uncertainty knocks freelancer confidence

However, confidence levels have more than doubled from 15% in the second quarter of 2016 to 33% in Q3

Uncertainty surrounding Brexit has had a significant impact on the confidence levels of the UK’s 1.91 million freelancers, according to a survey from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) and Upwork.

42% of freelancers surveyed claimed that the result of the referendum damaged the performance of their business in the third quarter of 2016, while over 50% said they expect Brexit to continue to affect their performance over the next year.

Another 59% of freelancers predicted a bleak outlook for the UK economy over the next 12 months, with 39% concerned about their business performance over the next year and 62% expecting their business costs to increase.

However, business confidence was up on the previous quarter, with 33% of those surveyed expressing a positive outlook for the next 12 months, compared to just 15% in Q2.

While the average daily rate for freelancers fell from £421 in Q3 last year to £403 in 2016, 42% said they expect their rates to increase over the next 12 months, citing personal brand, innovation of services and collaboration as the factors that will have a positive impact.

Chris Bryce, CEO of IPSE, said: “Brexit gave freelancers pause for thought, but confidence may be beginning to return in their business outlook. We want a post-Brexit Britain freelancers can thrive in.

“Autumn Statement will be critical in returning confidence to the sector and we hope to see the Chancellor announce measures to support independent professionals.”

Henry Williams
Henry Williams

Henry has been writing for since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also contributed to many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Young Guns, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides. Before joining the team, he reviewed films for a culture website, and still harbours ambitions of being a screenwriter.


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