UK Self-Employment at Record High

11 September 2014

This year there were 4.6m people who were self-employed in their main job, 15% of the workforce, which is the highest level since records began 40 years ago.

Construction and building is still the top job role for self-employed people (167,000 in 2014) although it had the slowest growth in self-employment between 2009 and 2014. The rise in self-employment was instead largest in what the ONS describes as “professional, scientific and technical activities”. These include a wide range of things such as management consultancy, book-keepers, photographers and chartered accountants.

The worry about the increase in self-employment would be the lack of opportunity for people to move out of self-employment into employment and the rise of low-paid work.  The growth in self-employment is reducing people's pay, job security and retirement income.

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