Yes it’s true that the end of 2015 saw a decline in pay rates, salaries for freelancers and umbrella company contractors is on the up for the year.
At least that’s what Adzuna says. The UK-based job search site just released its most recent report on the employment market, declaring that over the last 12 months pay levels have gone up overall. Much of the impetus for this increase came as a result of the skills shortage, especially as firms encountered little in the way of successful recruitment efforts in the summer of 2015 – something that Adzuna says likely resulted in companies turning to freelancers, contract workers, and other self-employed Brits to fill these crucial roles. In fact, between July and August of last year, advertised vacancies went up by two per cent – and the difference year-on-year between August 2014 and August 2015 was a massive 27.1 per cent. In other words, if you don’t think the skills shortage is driving opportunities for self-employed Brits, you’re a bit daft aren’t you?
Overall, pay rates might have dropped a bit by around 0.6 per cent, but the gains in contractor positions bucked this trend by a considerable margin. The travel sector in particular saw advertised pay rates for temporary workers increase by 3.6 per cent year-on-year, while HR contractors saw an almost-as-good 3.1 per cent increase as well. Construction, scientific and information technology contractros all saw increases of at least 1.8 per cent or higher as well year-on-year, which is absolutely nothing to sneeze at when the overall employment sector slid more than half a percentage point lower!
In other words, things are looking up for freelancers and umbrella contractors across a wide variety of employment sectors right now, and with the skills shortage showing no signs of slowing down any time soon this trend is unlikely to end abruptly. Yes, it’s true that there’s always a danger that the number of vacancies that need to be filled by British businesses might some day outstrip the number of self-employed Brits looking for temporary or project-based work, but this is likely to be a long way off. The only other thing that could alter the fates of the employment sector is if a glut of new workers fresh from university start magically showing up with the skills needed to fill all these roles, but the likelihood of that happening any time soon is even less. With the Baby Boomer generation all moving into retirement over the next few years as well, British freelancers and contractors are likely to be very busy indeed!