Newly released statistics from the ONS show the continuing strength of the British employment market since the financial crisis, with the number of self-employed rising to a record 4.78 million – 15% of the workforce.
Considered one of the self-employment hubs of Western Europe, Britain is home to male and female freelancers from every background, working across every occupation and equipped with an array of specialist skills.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s women who are leading the charge, with 11% aiming to kick-start working for themselves within a year, compared to 8% of men who plan on doing the same thing.
In terms of motivation, women want to leap into self-employment for more freedom and a better work-life balance, while men are confident of earning more from freelancing and contracting than in a traditional role.
More People are Choosing Self-Employment in the UK than Ever Before
Lorence Nye, economic policy adviser for the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, (IPSE) commented, “The figures show the continuing strength and success of the UK labour market. Much of this success is a direct result of more and more people choosing to become self-employed. The self-employed have done more than their fair share of job creation since the recession and this trend is still continuing – almost a decade on.
“Although people take on extra risks when they become self-employed, research has clearly shown that the majority genuinely loves what they do and wouldn’t want to work for someone else.
“The self-employed give the economy the crucial competitive advantage of flexibility just when the UK needs it most. And as we begin the process of leaving the EU, it’s more important than ever that our workforce is flexible enough to meet shifts in demand – it will be absolutely essential to our success.”
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