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Self-Employment Continues to Rise Internationally: Nearly 15% of Europeans Now Freelancing

Photo: EU Freelancers Movement Indiegogo campaign.

Americans aren’t the only ones escaping the 9-5: More European workers are choosing freelancing than ever before, according to new reports.

In a report released this week in the UK, self-employment is now growing 4% faster than traditional employment, totalling 4.37 million independent workers in the UK in 2013.

This is the highest self-employment number ever, according to the British freelancers association PCG. "With an increase of 63 per cent over the last decade through bad times and now good times, this should be recognised as a sea change in how we approach the concept of work in this country,” says PCG’s chief economic advisor, Georgios Nikolaidis.

The Netherlands has seen 92% growth in freelancing over the last 10 years. Self-employment did rise at a faster rate in countries hit hardest by the the global recession: 31.9% of Greeks and 23.4% of Italians are now self-employed. All told, 14.5% of employed Europeans are self-employed, as of the latest statistics.

As a sign of the growth of freelancing in Europe, various freelancer associations have come together to form a unified “European Forum of Independent Professionals,” which aims to promote the interests of freelancers across the EU. Freelancers Union’s founder Sara Horowitz talked with one of the key organizers of this movement, Joel Dullroy, here.

Joel has also launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise 5,000 euro to support the European Forum of Independent Professionals. With just 4 days left, they’re well on their way to reaching their goal.

Freelancing is truly a global movement!