Freelancers report confidence in business prospects, survey shows » SMEInsider

Freelancers report confidence in business prospects, survey shows

Freelancers are now more confident in both business and the economy after a dip in the previous quarter, an IPSE survey has established.

 A survey of nearly 1,000 UK freelancers revealed a positive outlook on business prospects, which could be due to an increase in the volume of work and day rates. IPSE also found that freelancers’ confidence in the UK economy is on the rise, which reverses the downward trend from the last three quarters.

The survey included members of IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, and registered freelancers on Elance-oDesk.

“Over the last twelve months day rates have risen 5.6 per cent, which along with an increase in the number of days worked, has contributed greatly to freelancer earnings outperforming that of employees and the increasing business confidence seen in the report,” said Suneeta Johal, head of research, education and training at IPSE.

Over  60 per cent of freelancers who have worked for their clients via Elance-oDesk expect their revenues to increase in the next 12 months. A third of freelancers also experienced a growth in work volume over the last three months.

The survey also established that freelancers continue to outperform the earnings of typical employees by a considerable margin. Freelancers’ average quarterly earnings have reached £30,000, which is roughly 20 per cent more than employees earn in a year, the report surmised.

Day rates have experienced 1 per cent growth since the last quarter, rising from £525 in quarter 4 of 2014 to £531 in Q1 of 2015. The majority of freelancers (56 per cent) expect day rates to stay at current levels, while 27 per cent expect them to increase and 17 per cent anticipate a fall.

Capacity utilisation of freelancers has reached record levels, with 87 per cent of freelancers under contract at the time of survey, IPSE said.

More freelancers are reporting an increase in the volume of work undertaken over the last 3 months (38 per cents) than those reporting a fall (20 per cent). This is the highest percentage of freelancers recorded reporting a rise in activity.

Business confidence for the coming three months has risen from 3.95 to 9.42 while the twelve month outlook index rose from 0.6 to 7.19.

The three month confidence index for the UK economy rose from 5.7 to 16.48 from the last quarter, its second highest level over the last year, while the twelve month outlook rose from 4.75 to 18.05.