More people testing waters of self-employment

Posted 11th May 2018 in For Businesses For Workers

More Britons appear to be testing the waters of being self-employed by carrying out at least some part-time contracting work, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest.

The organisation has released its latest figures for the quarter to February 2018, which show that unemployment declined by 16,000 to 1.4 million. This is the lowest number recorded since May 1975.

Meanwhile, the number of people classed as self-employed stayed steady at 4.8 million. However, there was an increase of 85,000 among the part-time self-employed.

Interpreting the figures, expert Julia Kermode from the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association said this is likely to mean that people are subsidising their usual job with freelance work, or taking on several part-time roles to achieve the work-life balance they crave.

“Work patterns are changing and we are seeing a growth in non-traditional employment that is going to continue. Our analysis of ONS labour market data shows that 70 per cent of the growth in self-employment since 2008 has been at the highly skilled end of the spectrum,” she added.

The news comes after recent research from Aldermore found three in ten British workers would like to become freelancers in a bid to replace the traditional nine to five with something more flexible.

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