Britain’s deepest postwar recession has led to record numbers of self-employed people, who are earning lower wages and working longer hours than other workers, a study suggests.
Self-employment in the UK is at its highest level since records began almost 40 years ago, according to a report by the Office for National Statistics, with taxi-driving, construction and carpentry among the most common jobs. There are 4.6 million people working for themselves, with the proportion of the total workforce self-employed at 15% compared with 13% in 2008, and 8.7% in 1975.
Fewer people left self-employment over the last five years than at any period in the last 20 years, with the ONS suggesting that they might have struggled to find an alternative job during the downturn. It also pointed to the increasing number of people choosing to work for themselves beyond the state pension age of 65.
The ONS said more people than usual staying in self-employment was the main reason behind the sharp rise in numbers over recent years, which itself has accounted for the majority of the overall rise in employment since early 2008.
“The rise in self-employment can be accounted for by fewer people leaving self-employment than in the past. About 886,000 people who were self-employed in 2009 had left by 2014, compared with 1.3 million who were self-employed in 2004 leaving by 2009,” the ONS said.
via The Guardian
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