The Recruitment and Employment Confederation has some big news: last month saw the rate of demand for umbrella contractors hit highs unseen in decades.
Freelancers, contract workers, sole traders, and even permanent employees are all in incredible demand at the moment and that demand is rising by leaps and bounds month on month. However, the location of the biggest jump might flummox you a bit: it turns out that while demand is rising everywhere, in the Midlands the rate of increase hasn’t been this high since May of 1998!
This is just the beginning of a long-term trend as well, according to the REC. According to the trade industry body’s research, growth could very well continue for the next two and a half years if you can believe that. I know it sounds incredibly optimistic to the point of absurdity, but for what it’s worth the REC usually knows what it’s talking about.
The figures actually bear this trend out believe it or not. Last month was the 13th consecutive one where contractor availability has gone down. What this means is that everyone and their mother is snapping up freelance workers left and right as quickly as they possibly can. There’s only so many contractors working and living in the UK after all, and whilst more and more permanent workers may be transitioning to self-employment as the flexibility of the lifestyle attracts individuals in droves, the rate of new freelancers coming in simply can’t possibly match the demand levels of British firms, as evidenced by that 13 month decline in contractor availability!
Still, this isn’t a bad thing per se. I mean think about it: the more demand goes up and the lower availability creeps, the higher the average contract worker will be paid. Law of supply and demand and all that – and with the Midlands currently leading the charge, you don’t even have to be fighting the crowds in London in order to get the best job offers. I mean wouldn’t you rather live in Birmingham than the capital if you couldn’t help it? Sure it might not be as glamourous but you know it’s not nearly as expensive a place to live – and I’m sure the takeaway is just as good.