The number of self-employed people in the UK saw a further increase during the most recent quarter, according to the latest government data.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics for the period from December 2016 to February 2017 have shown that the number of self-employed people in the country grew by 114,000 compared to the same point last year.
This means there are now 4.78 million self-employed people in the UK, which represents a total of 15 per cent of the workforce. Meanwhile, the number of employees overall has increased by 192,000 in the UK compared to the same period last year, meaning 84.3 per cent of all people are now in work.
The data is demonstrative of the considerable strength the British jobs market has shown since the financial crisis, with the self-employed playing a substantial role in driving this job creation.
Lorence Nye, IPSE’s economic policy adviser, said: “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.”
However, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation also pointed out that growth in real-terms pay dropped to 0.1 per cent during the surveyed period, despite demand for staff reaching an 18-month peak.
This trend is less positive for jobseekers, but the organisation also noted that many employers are increasing their starting salary offers to compete for the limited talent available, meaning a turnaround may be forthcoming.