National Freelancers DayBusiness Language Services National Freelancers Day

H

ere at BLS we work with freelancers from all over the world on a daily basis. It seems fitting, therefore, that we highlight the 4th National Freelancers Day taking place this year on Wednesday 21st November. The day, organised by the Professional Contractors Group (PCG) which currently supports some of the UK’s estimated 1.6 million freelancers (or 1 in 20 working people) is being marked by the release of a series of short films designed to highlight the work of freelancers. PCG are hoping to surpass their record last year of reaching 6.5 million people with their online resources and events to highlight what is becoming known as the third way of working and which some say is contributing significantly to the economic recovery.

The advantages and disadvantages of freelancing are clear: amongst others, the flexible working hours and location which have to be balanced against the (potential) lack of a steady income. Today, however, on this, National Freelancers Day, let’s look at some interesting facts about the freelance industry that you may find surprising:

– Between 2008 and 2011 there was an increase of 12% in the number of freelancers in the UK (in various professions) and the situation is similar across the pond; earlier this year The Guardian reported that one in three workers in the US are freelancing – this equates to a massive 42 million workers.

– It is estimated that Britain’s 1.6 million freelancers contribute approximately £82 billion to the economy.

– Some people have suggested that, especially during the recession, employers are keener to work with freelancers than ever before as it allows them to access the specialist skills they need for the specific period of time they need them for.

– One in three companies use freelancers every week and 41% of firms plan to use them in the next 12 months.

– In the US, it is estimated that between 2010 and 2020, the translation and interpreting industries will experience 42% growth.

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