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EU – Number of freelancers grows by 24% in 7 years

10 June 2016

The number of independent professionals, or freelancers, in the EU-28 rose by 24% from 7.7 million to 9.6 million between 2008 and 2015, according to new research published by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed. This represents a 3.42% average annual growth rate over the 7 years. The research shows that more people are launching a business in almost every EU Member State. The largest number of new freelancers are in Western Europe , specifically the UK, France and the Netherlands, which between them saw 1.2 million more people launch a solo business in the seven years to 2015.

Freelancing is also gaining popularity newer Member States, with almost 200% more people freelancing in Latvia in 2015 than 2008, and more than twice as many in Romania and Slovenia.

“Right across the EU, huge numbers of people are seeing the benefits of being their own boss and they’re finding the confidence to launch new businesses. An increase of almost a quarter in just seven years is making these professionals a force to be reckoned with,” Chris Bryce, IPSE CEO, said.

“Independent professionals are usually highly educated and in highly-skilled positions, and they’re vital to a booming economy,” Bryce said. “The biggest countries have the most established services sectors, so they’re naturally seeing the most new independent professionals. But the newer EU entrants are catching up fast. The trend towards working this way looks set to continue well into the future.”

Growth in Human Cloud platforms are also supporting growth in the freelancer model. For more information refer to SIA’s Workforce Solutions Ecosystem

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