Good news for contract workers and freelancers: employers in professionals sectors are still keen to source temporary staff for their vacant roles.
At least that’s what the Association of Professional Staffing Companies says. APSCo’s most recent research for the last month says that vacancies for short term and contract positions have gone up by around two per cent in comparison to this same time last year. Finance and accounting contractors are especially in high demand, with freelancers and umbrella company contractors working in this particular industry undergoing a quite steep 34 per cent increase from last year to this one. In fact, APSCo says that temporary positions have been growing strongly, even though permanent employment opportunities have been growing in parallel.
This is in truth quite shocking, considering how temporary positions tend to have an inverse relationship to permanent ones. Most employers who can’t fill their vacancies with qualified traditional personnel will instead shift their focus to contractors and freelancers as well; it’s a simple by-product of the skills shortage that’s been a thorn in the side of British employment for quite some time now. For what it’s worth, indications that both permanent and temporary roles is a quite strong indicator that the economy is blasting along at full steam, though I wouldn’t exactly categorise us as out of the woods just yet since the skills shortage is still a very real thing.
And make no mistake – freelancing and contracting is still big business. The Office for National Statistics just released new quarterly results revealing how there are 30,000 more self-employed Brits than there were from the three months to September of 2014, so no one is leaving freelancing in droves to go back to work for an employer on a permanent basis. APSCo responded to the news positively, adding that the trend is likely to continue well into the New Year.
So what does this mean, overall, for anyone looking for a new client in the professional services industries? Well there’s no telling exactly how long this demand is going to last for, so if you’re keen on pulling in some more work it’s likely to be a good idea to strike while the iron is hot. With more contract workers out there than ever you’re going to eventually find that competition for these new positions will be brisk; though of course the number of temporary workers that are qualified for these professional roles may not be growing as quickly as general contractor figures, you might not be the only freelancer bidding on these projects. In other words, get off your bum and get to work!