New labour figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) have found a significant increase in contractors for the three-month period from April to July in 2016.

Inclusive of all contractors and freelancers, the statistics indicate that the number of self-employed people in the UK rose by 224,000 year-on-year during the three month period ending this July.

This brings the total of self-employed in the UK up to 4.76 million. This sector of employment in the UK is expanding at a rate four times higher than traditional employment.

According to Lorence Nye, an Economic Advisor at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, the self-employed workforce has grown by 21% since 2011.

“The fastest growing segment of those workers (in the self-employed workforce) are those in highly-skilled or professional roles,” said Nye. “This group alone contributed £109 billion to the UK economy in 2015.”

Nye added: “With independent professionals in higher demand than ever before, that figure is only likely to increase year-on-year.”