The self-employed market is growing


We now have more people working for themselves than ever before. As of 2014 some 4.5 million people in Britain are officially self-employed.

This represents a pretty stonking increase. Though there was a slight trend upwards for many years in the early to mid-2000s, the number of self-employed has increased by 573,000 since the recession of 2008-09 – a rise of 15%.

Interestingly, over 60% of this increase has actually taken place even more recently – from around the middle of 2011.

Some say this is proof that the UK is more entrepreneurial than ever before and are signs that the UK’s more flexible labour force has more room for freelancers and people starting their own businesses.

However others say the speed at which the rate has increased in such a short time is proof that our recovery isn’t creating the jobs that it ought to be, and the jobs market remains insecure.

There has also been concern that the sort of jobs the new class of self-employed are involved in simply aren’t as productive as those which the self-employed have historically done and that 18% of people who work part time say they would like to work full time.

Although skilled trades-people “white van man” have the single largest share of self-employment (almost 30%), their numbers have actually declined since the start of the recession and when you compare this to the big increases in those employed in “personal services” (often low-skilled employment), administration or “elementary occupations” which have seen increases of 33-37%.

What are you views, is the increase in self-employment a good or bad thing for the economy? Why did you choose to become self-employed?


Statistics courtesy of BBC News