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Freelancers experience more buoyant market
by Susie Hughes at 11:26 01/04/14 (News on Business)
A more buoyant economy and a positive outlook was the overriding message from small businesses and contractors in a recent survey.
The biannual contractor attitude survey from specialist contractor accountants, SJD Accountancy, found that 86 per cent said that the general outlook on the contracting market was more positive. Seventy-nine per cent also said that they found being a contractor rather than an employee more satisfying and only 23 per cent missed any of the benefits of being PAYE.

Limited companies
There are signs that the small limited companies are driving the economic recover with many are setting up and seeing growth in their limited companies. More than three quarters have run their own business for over a year, and half for more than two years and one in three of those surveyed for more than five years.

Lifestyle choice

The survey also found that working for yourself is becoming a lifestyle choice. With those in their 40s (34 per cent of all surveyed) and 50s (up 16 to 20 per cent of all surveyed in the last year) opting out permanent employment with three quarters saying that they consciously chose to work for themselves as a career. The results reflect that people are making a conscious decision mid career to work for themselves as a lifestyle choice.

Choosing to be their own boss and wanting to run their own company was high in the list of why many people are starting their own business. However, it is no surprise that flexibility (60 per cent) and freedom (52 per cent) were also cited as reasons why people are choosing to work for themselves.

More than a third (36 per cent) earned a daily rate of between £500 and £750, showing a twenty per cent increase in those of around this contract rate over the last two years. Seven per cent commanded between £750 and £1,000 a day, while only one per cnet earned less than £200 a day. Nine out of ten were earning more than they did when they were in full time employment.

There were positive signs of rate increased with 24 per cent seeing a rise in rates in the last six months, with 20 per cent experiencing a decline and half noting no change.

Positive work/life balance
Almost three quarters of those surveyed said that running their own business had a positive effect on their work/life balance, up 16 per cent from 2012.

Managing director of SJD Accountancy, Claire Johnson (left) said: “We are finding more and more people are registering to become limited companies and enter the SME market. Professionals are looking for different ways to working, wanting higher salaries and better roles and sometimes they need to create these for themselves.

"We undertake this research so we can ensure we are understand the changes taking place with our clients’ work lives but the survey results also act as a great snapshot of the changes taking place in the workforce today.”

The SJD Accountancy contractor survey covered the views of around 1,000 limited company clients of SJD over the last six months in 2013. Results have been gathered from January 2012 to December 2013 allowing a comparative view of the market over a full two years.

A full breakdown of the results can be found here: here

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2014

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