Freelance workers point to rise in fortunes during year ahead

THREE times more freelancers expect an upturn in business this year than a decline, according to a survey of the growing self-employed workforce.

Just over a third expect business to be better in 2014 than it was last year, while only 11.9 per cent still think conditions will worsen for them. In general, 70 per cent expect the economy to improve, according to a new poll by freelance membership group PCG.

The number of people in self employment has risen significantly during the years since the financial crisis, from 3.84m in mid-2008 to 4.46m in January this year.

The survey shows no sign that self-employed workers have avoided the wage squeeze. A net balance of just 1.1 per cent of PCG members say their pay rose in the last quarter. Policy adviser Georgios Nikolaidis said: “This is right in line with the sluggish wage growth seen in the UK economy in general, where earnings have persistently lagged behind the inflation rate.”