New data launched today, on UK Freelance Day, reveals the impact of the cost of living on the workforce of businesses and the self-employed community in the UK.
According to a survey of 1,500 UK freelancers and 1,000 business owners, business demand for UK freelancers has increased, particularly due to permanent staff reductions and remote working. 42% of freelancers surveyed say demand for their services has increased since the pandemic. More recently, 31% said the rise in demand is the result of UK businesses cutting permanent staff.
Fiverr’s research reveals that so far in 2022, half (49%) of UK freelancers have increased their workload. While 43% say this is due to demand, more than half (51%) did so due to the rising cost of living.
How the rising cost of living is affecting UK freelancers
According to the study, 23% of business owners say the rising cost of living could mean they need to downsize this year, and 20% say they plan to use more freelancers.
In turn, UK freelancers would rather increase their workload than increase their rates – 61% have kept their rates the same despite a turbulent economic climate.
However, 40% plan to increase them at some point in 2022 and 28% have already done so. The most common reason was attributed to the rising cost of living, which prompted 68% of them to consider the change. Of those who increased their prices, 63% did so by up to 10% and 32% increased them between 11 and 25%.
In fact, 1 in 4 freelancers say they make enough money freelancing but can’t afford to save and 25% more freelancers are worried about making ends meet in the future. . 63% believe that the rising cost of living has an impact on their retirement plans.
Independent entrepreneurs face the challenges of increasing demand and external economic factors by quickly adapting their approach and offer. 21% have decided to increase the scope of their services or improve certain skills (19%) to meet current demands.
Peggy de Lange, Vice President of International Expansion at Fiverr, said: “Since the pandemic, freelancers have become an essential part of the UK workforce, supporting businesses with a rapid shift to digital working and from a distance.
“Today, with the rising cost of living impacting business bottom lines, freelancers are helping fill gaping talent gaps created by a combination of downsizing and the big quit.
“However, our data confirms that freelancers are also feeling the financial pinch, so the government should ensure they are supported and the essential role they play as this situation evolves”