Orange & Gold Blog

Make-up of a Freelance Contractor

In January 2014 there were estimated to be 4.36m freelance contractors in the UK, growth of 18%
since 2008, helping to innovate, fill a gap for cutting-edge and essential skills in growing industries 
and to drive the economy.

Internet telephone company, Vonage, has recently done some research into the characteristics of 
self-employed workers in the UK, some highlights of which are:

11% of the 25-49 year old workforce is self-employed, rising to 17% at 50 and above

38% of freelancers are women and roughly a third of these are working mothers

The average hourly rate for male freelancers is just over £34 and just below £33 for women

Freelance workers tend to be more creative and innovative and better at communication and 
negotiation than there employed counterparts

Freelancers earn on average nearly £51,000 a year, nearly double the national average pay of 
£26,000

Averages by sector are: banking £70k, engineering £64k, IT £63k, PR and marketing £57k, design 
£50k and retail £35k

41% if new IT hires in the UK were freelance, with 24% for design/multimedia and 18% for 
writing/translation

The number of freelance jobs online increased by 46% in 2012

Self-employed contractors contribute £202 billion to the UK economy each year

Key reasons people choose freelance careers are: improved work/life balance – whether in relation 
to family, lifestyle or recreation, higher pay, being your own boss, flexibility of location and hours 
and less commuting