Significant increase in self-employment in the north-west

Tuesday 4 October 2016

It is often assumed that the increasing number of those entering self-employment is much more concentrated in London and the south-east, but there has been a significant rise in people based in the north-west of England choosing the route of self-employment and entrepreneurship.

As reported by NatWest, its Regional Economic Tracker showed that there was a 4.5 per cent rise in self-employment in the north-west. In Manchester, the proportion of jobs completed by self-employed professionals increased by 13 per cent, showing progression in the Northern Powerhouse, which has now become an emerging digital hub outside of London and the south-east.

While Manchester and London have high levels of those who are self-employed, independent working is now becoming commonplace across the country.

These latest statistics are reflective of the general self-employment trend in the UK, which has seen an increase by 21.1 per cent since 2008. All in all, self-employment is increasing, and these professionals make significant contributions to the UK economy. By 2020, it is estimated that half of working people will be self-employed.

Sebastian Burnside, a senior economist with NatWest, said: “There are now 4.6 million self-employed people in the UK, an increase of 800,000 since 2008 with women accounting for 433,000 of these new jobs. Over the course of the recovery, we have seen the pace of self-employment growth vary. At the beginning in 2009 and 2010, self-employment was growing rapidly even as firms were shedding jobs.”

There has also been an increasing trend in the number of women and mothers - as known as mumpreneurs - become business owners. As a result of the changing nature of the economy, women are becoming much more entrepreneurial, especially as many mothers desire the work-life balance.

According to NatWest, the number of women who are self-employed has grown by more than 40 per cent since 2008 and now women account for 54 per cent of the rise in self-employment.
It seems as though the trend of self-employment across the UK is set to continue, especially in new and emerging industries such as digital media.

By Victoria McDonnell

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