With interest rates rising for the 13th month in a row and the cost-of-living crisis continuing to bite, a third (33.6%) of workers are considering freelancing alongside their day jobs.

Leaning on their own skills and knowledge to boost their earnings, these workers – or ‘multi-income individuals’ – know that side hustles offer an opportunity to offset the impact of inflation.

This is according to Aspire, a recruitment agency specialising in several sectors including marketing, market research, sales, digital and media and technology sectors. The firm conducts a quarterly survey measuring sentiment on the jobs market. Its Q1 2023 report received over 900 responses from workers.

The growth in candidates seeking freelance roles has tripled compared to the same period in 2022; just one in ten (9.5%) candidates were considering freelancing or contracting as their next career move.

Aspire’s quarterly surveys show that the number of candidates interested in this way of working has increased dramatically over the last 12 months, primarily driven by the cost of living crisis: from 9.5 percent to 31.3 percent by October last year, and at 33.6 percent by April this year.

Additionally, some workers also reported feelings of low job security in the first quarter of 2023. Freelancing offers these candidates the opportunity to earn additional cash while exploring the long-term viability of self-employment.

This entrepreneurial attitude is good news for the UK economy in the short and long-term, giving workers additional income now and a potentially viable and successful business in the future.

Commenting on the news, Aspire’s Global Managing Director, Terry Payne, said:

“With the way workers have seen their real-term earnings reduced over the last 12 to 18 months, it’s no wonder that so many people are looking to boost their income.

“And it’s encouraging to see so many people combining the skills and expertise they’ve developed in their careers with their own personal passions and hobbies. These so-called ‘multi-income earners’ have an opportunity to earn a living by doing something that’s of personal importance or interest to them.

“The rise of this trend reflects findings from our own recent research at Aspire: that more and more candidates are looking for freelance roles.

“Candidates turning to side hustles are finding ways to explore how their passions and personal interests can provide additional income, either to manage rising costs now or – excitingly – as the beginnings of a successful business in its own right.”






Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.