UK: Self-employment at highest level in 40 years

Self-employment is at its highest level for 40 years in the UK, where it accounts for a large part of the total rise in employment since 2008.

According to analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), across the European Union the UK had the third largest percentage rise in self-employment since 2009 (482 KB PDF).

The research shows self-employed workers tend to be older than employees and nearly half a million over 65s are self-employed. This proportion has more than doubled over the past five years.

The number of women in self-employment is increasing at a faster rate than the number of men – although men still dominate self-employment.

The most common roles are working in the construction industry and as a taxi driver. In recent years the number of self-employed management consultants has increased.

Average income from self-employment has fallen by 22% since 2008–2009.

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