Contractor Accountant

The UK's leading contractor site. 200,000 average monthly visitors.

Contracting work in huge demand as more workers choose to become contractors

Contracting has experienced a surge in demand in early 2011, with market data suggesting that workers are increasingly choosing to become contractors and freelancers, rather than employees.

Dave Chaplin, CEO of ContractorCalculator.co.uk, sees the evidence for this building up across multiple sources: “Last year, according to the Office of National Statistics Labour Market Survey, self-employed workers in the UK reached a record high, accounting for one in seven of the UK workforce.

“So far this year, ContractorCalculator’s unique visitors grew to over 130,000 during January, the highest number on record and up from our most recent ABCe audited total of just over 110,000 in September last year,” he continues. “Recruitment surveys such as the latest KPMG/Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) Report on Jobs shows that availability of contract and temporary staff continued to rise in January, in line with the trend since April 2008.”

Internet job board CV-Library has experienced a record number of 181,158 CV registrations in January, and according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Quarterly Economic Survey (QES), contract and temp recruitment is above trend, with permanent recruitment below trend. This suggests that workers opting for self employment are increasingly benefiting from clients choosing low risk contractors, rather than employees.

The Contractors’ Handbook also experienced its highest ever sales in a single month in January,” says Chaplin. “Analysis of the sales figures suggests that there are a great many workers new to contracting buying copies, and experienced contractors are also looking to up their game as competition for contracting roles heats-up.”

Chaplin believes that a vibrant and flexible pool of expert knowledge workers offering their expertise as contractors is vital to enable UK PLC to unleash the potential of its growth sectors and emerge stronger from recession. “The flexibility contractors bring to an organisation enable UK firms to be fleet of foot,” he concludes, “which is an essential feature for competing effectively in today’s global economy.”

Published: 09 February 2011

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