Freelancing in the UK (December 2015)

Following on from last month’s study into the state of freelancing in the UK, we’ve crunched the numbers for December 2015 and the results are certainly interesting.

According to Linked In, the number of UK workers using the term ‘freelance’ in their title has almost doubled.  Rejoice!  This either means that many UK workers are taking the plunge as we head into the New Year and ‘going freelance’, or more workers have decided to update their profile in order to proudly proclaim their participation in this seemingly thriving gig economy.  Either way – rejoice!

  Nov 15 Dec 15
Design 10571 21171
Writing/Editing 9174 13037
Media Production 6885 12490
Marketing and Advertising 6449 16182
Photography 6328 8041
Arts and Crafts 5346 4634
Management Consulting 5109 2120
Computer Software 4147 3405
IT & Services 2839 7380
PR & Communications 2477 6318
Performing Arts 1784 2636
Fine Arts 1127 1743
Legal Services 418 825
Civil Engineering 298 727
Mechanical/Industrial Engineering 203 434
Aviation and Aerospace 118 258
Computer and Network Security 77 176
Other/not specified 59162 129656
UK Freelancers Total 122512 231233


The biggest rise in freelancers stem from the professions of Design, Marketing, Writing, and Media – so perhaps they had been waiting to see whether the Chancellor closed a tax loophole that may have precluded many of them going into freelance roles or continuing to freelance (happily he never swung that particular sledgehammer in his Autumn Statement).

Not all professions are blooming, however – with a fall in numbers observed in the professions of Management Consulting and freelance Computer Software specialists.  Are these freelancers tempted to seek permanent roles at major holiday periods – we shall see what January’s figures reveal?

Freelancing in the UK

In terms of geographical displacement, a strong growth in numbers was observed in freelance workers in all the major UK cities – with the number in the capital more than trebling.  Perhaps this is the ‘Uber’ effect?  We’ll have to look for ‘freelance drivers’ in January

Freelancing in the UK

Are you surprised by the Linked In data?  Is it what you expected?  Let everyone know in the comments section below, and we’ll report back the same time next month, and discuss any changing trends as the series develops.

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