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NOTE: Since 2009 the title of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE) has been changed to the title above.  ISSN numbers: IJEE 1649-2269 and IRE 2009-2822

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ISSN Number: 2009-2822. Frequency: 4 Issues per year (online only)  

Article #1502 - Tracking UK Freelance Workforce Trends 1992-2014

IRE Vol 13: Issue 1, 2015 , Pages 21-34

Author(s): John Kitching (Kingston University, UK)

Using data from the UK Labour Force Survey, the paper describes the major trends in freelance workforce numbers during the past 20 years. Operationalising a definition of freelancing in terms of Labour Force Survey categories, the data indicate both a substantial absolute increase in freelancer numbers and growth as a proportion of all workforce jobs. Possible explanations for the increase are discussed, paying particular attention to the demand for freelancers. Although a number of studies suggest a shift towards the adoption of flexible labour strategies, the evidence base on the forces underlying the expansion of freelance working is limited and fragmented. Research questions seeking to explore the trends in greater detail are identified.

Keywords: freelance workers, regulation, organisational restructuring, flexible labour strategies, occupational structure, Labour Force Survey

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