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Nearly half of the freelancers who participated in a Shout99 poll are 'out of contract' - and 17 per cent of them have been without work for more than 12 months.

The results are from an online survey ( carried out in August/September 2003 of nearly 700 members of Shout99, the UK's largest freelancer network.

The poll asked: Are you in or out of a contract? If so, how long? Have you been continuously:

..working on a contract for more than 12 months - 37 per cent (255 replies);

..working on a contract for less than 12 months - 21 per cent (143);

..out of contract for less than three months - 6 per cent (45);

..out of contract for 3-6 months - 9 per cent (59);

..out of contract for 6-12 months - 11 per cent (73);
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