Sharp rise in self-employment reported by ONS

Recent ONS labour statistics have shown a sharp increase in those choosing to work outside fixed employment, with numbers making up 14.5% of the total UK workforce – an all-time high.

The statistics are evidence that the way people choose to work is changing; the increase in the number of people going it alone now exceeds those going down the route of traditional employment at a rate of three to one.

PCG, the membership organisation for independent professionals, notes that this continued growth in freelancing and contracting is indicative of ‘a structural change in the labour market rather than a cyclical reaction to the financial crisis’.

Ben Dunn, Finance Director at JSA Services, comments, “Increasingly, people want to be their own boss and build their own brand, to choose how, when and who they work with.  The UK is following the lead of economies in the Far East and North America with the prevalence of so-called ‘outcome-based’ working. Whilst fragmented working and multi simultaneous careers offer the individual flexibility, reward and control, businesses also benefit from a wider talent pool, lower risk, and supply-side competition.”

“Indeed, the statistics show that freelancing is no longer the preserve of a number of specific professions; independent professionals from all industries and sectors are choosing this way of working, to the benefit of the UK economy.”

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