A new report carried out by a leading European economist, and in conjunction with the PCG, has looked in detail at the growing trend of freelancers working across Europe. The report, entitled ‘European I-Pros: A Study’ looked at the rise of ‘independent professionals’ or I-Pro’s, revealing that this workforce rose by 82% between 2000 and 2011.
The report’s author, Stéphane Rapelli, carried out the research into the number of I-Pro’s (defined as self employed workers, of an intellectual nature, working in service sectors) across Europe. Rapelli found that the UK were among the top 3 EU countries with 1.61m I-Pro’s, alongside Italy (1.69m) and Germany (1.53m).
Between 2008 and 2011 there was growth of 12.5% which was driven by four countries; Germany, France, Poland and the UK, with the UK itself achieving 25% growth over this period. The report suggested that the nations with the best growth in freelancing were the those who dealing best with the economic crisis. So in contrast, countries such as Spain (-9%) and Italy (-1%) saw their levels fall.
John Brazier of the PCG, who represent the UK’s1.6m freelancers, said that the report proves that freelancing is serving a valuable purpose in economies across Europe. He added; “Having access to freelancers in an economy provides flexibility, value and minimises risk to businesses. This is important when times are good but when times are bad, these factors become the difference between success and failure.”
The full report can be found on the PCG website.
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