Umbrella company contractors will be interested to learn that the number of independent professionals, such as contractors and freelancers, in the EU has increased by 24% to 9.6 million in the last seven years.
According to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) as the tension builds across the Europe, research shows that there are more people than ever becoming self-employed in almost every EU Member state.
The data shows that it is Western Europe that has the largest number of new contractors, with the UK, France and the Netherlands in particular seeing the biggest rise.
Research also reveals that it is women and older workers who make up the most with regards to new independent professionals – in fact, a million more women chose to become self-employed between 2008 and 2015, compared to 900,000 men.
Chris Bryce, IPSE CEO, commented on the findings, “Right across the EU, huge numbers of people are seeing the benefits of being their own boss and they’re finding the confidence to launch new businesses. An increase of almost a quarter in just seven years is making these professionals a force to be reckoned with.
He added, “Independent professionals are usually highly educated and in highly-skilled positions, and they’re vital to a booming economy. The biggest countries have the most established services sectors, so they’re naturally seeing the most new independent professionals. But the newer EU entrants are catching up fast. The trend towards working this way looks set to continue well into the future.”