Contractors buoyant as confidence soars

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Contractors are celebrating a surge in confidence, with high expectations for both their business and the wider economy.

Research from the association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) revealed optimism levels have soared over the last three months, fuelled by an increase in pay packets and opportunities. Almost half (41%) of freelancers expected to see a jump in contract availability, compared to just 15% who anticipated a decline.

The study found that independent professionals now earn considerably more than those in “traditional” employment. Contractors are able to command an average quarterly rate of £30,000, roughly 20% more than most employees earn in year.

Day rates have jumped by 1% over the last three months, rising from £525 to £531. Some 27% of freelancers predict pay packets will increase further, while just 17% anticipate a fall.

IPSE also found that 38% of contractors experienced an increase in assignment opportunities in the last quarter – with 87% under contract at the time of the survey.

Suneeta Johal, IPSE’s head of research, education and training, said: “The survey shows a welcome return of business confidence both in freelancers’ businesses and in the economy.

“This optimism is accompanied by an increase in both net earnings and day rates. Over the last 12 months day rates have risen 5.6%, which along with an increase in the number of days worked, has contributed greatly to freelancer earnings outperforming that of employees.”

Have your say

Are you a contractor? Have you noticed an increase in assignment rates and opportunities? Do you expect the trend to continue over the 12 months? Join in the discussion on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

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