IPSE celebrates new self-employment statistics

Friday 25 August 2017

IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, is celebrating new statistics that show there are now 4.81 million self-employed people across the UK. 

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there was a rise of 23,000 compared to the second quarter of 2016, highlighting the growing popularity of working independently. 

These figures are also complemented by a fall in the number of people on zero-hour contracts. The unemployment rate has also fallen to an all-time low of 4.4 per cent, which has not been seen since data was first recorded in 1975. 

As well as this, the number of women in work jumped to a record high of 70.5 per cent, which is fuelled by a growing number of women opting to work for themselves to balance their professional and family lives. 

The research shows that limited company contractors, freelancers and other jobseekers have 768,000 vacancies to apply for at any one time, showing the wide range of opportunities available in the sector. 

Jonathan Lima-Matthews, IPSE’s senior policy adviser, said: “The UK Labour Market continues to show its strength and has maintained its leading position in Europe. 

“Despite fears of complete economic collapse after the EU referendum, the UK economy still seems to be going strong for now.”

Mr Lima-Matthews went on to say that due to the drop in the number of people on zero-hours contracts, the UK economy will rely on the flexibility of the self-employed more than ever before. 

How can professionals adjust to working independently?

With the option to choose your own clients and working hours, it’s easy to see why the number of self-employed professionals is on the up. 

While freelance working can be a challenging adjustment to make, moving to become your own boss can be a liberating experience. 

However, it is important to consider new requirements that come with such a career change. Tax laws will apply immediately and businesses must make sure they are away of all the regulations that relate to them.

Rather than spending time trying to decipher legal jargon and risking fines or reputational damage, it is wise to hire a freelancer and contractor accountant. These experts will make sure you are covered legally, allowing you to focus solely on running your business. 

They can also assist with other financial duties, including providing advice on forecasting, budgets and more. 

By Victoria McDonnell

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