Increase in number of self-employed

Tuesday 26 January 2016

In the UK, leaving your job and striking out as a self-employed worker - whether that is as a freelancer, contractor or consultant - has always been an option. However, it has not always been prudent to do so due to a number of factors. If the economy is stale or there is no market for your talents, it may not be a good time to become your own boss.

However, new statistics suggest that now is an excellent time to take this step, as more and more people are flocking to become self-employed. This data comes from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which recently released its UK Labour Market report for January 2016.

The publication revealed that the number of self-employed people in the UK rose from around 4.607 million people in August to October of 2015, to 4.618 million in the September-November period of that year. This is an increase of over 11,000 people; a record high for the UK.

Compared to the same period of 2014, the number of self-employed people rose by almost 98,000; an increase of around 2.2 per cent. These numbers are significant, and the increasing popularity of working independently gives a good indication of how positive the sector is at the moment.

Commenting on this, Lorence Nye - economic policy advisor for the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) - said: "Today’s labour market figures again show more and more people are realising the benefits of self-employment and opting to become their own boss.

Of course, this is also beneficial for the wider UK public as a whole. My Nye added: “The self-employed are now a key part of the UK economy. Their flexibility provides us with a unique characteristic that has powered the UK through the financial crisis.

"We hope the government will continue to implement tailored policies to help this essential sector flourish to allow for the UK to retain its competitive edge."
This record high in the number of self-employed people in the UK is a clear sign that it is a great time to run your own business at the moment. If becoming a freelancer, contractor or consultant seems like a scary step to take, we at Brookson can provide you with financial advice and specialised accounting services to help you make the most of self-employment.

By Victoria McDonnell

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