Self-employed sector surging

New statistics from the ONS reveal that the number of self-employed workers in the UK is growing.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the number of self-employed workers in the UK has risen by 175,000, compared to the same time last year.

This includes more than 60,000 people in highly skilled technical work and an extra 50,000 in construction.

This news follows a report from The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) and Kingston University, which found that the number of highly skilled freelancers rose by 47 per cent between 2008 and 2018.

Furthermore, the report found that there has been a 35 per cent increase in the number of solo self-employed workers in the last ten years.

Ryan Barnett, Economic Policy Advisor at The Association for Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), commented: “These statistics show just how attractive the opportunities, freedom and flexibility of freelancing are. Despite political turbulence, freelancers are creating businesses and driving innovation with their dynamism and get-up-and-go spirit.

“The government must make sure the self-employed can fire on all cylinders by giving them real support. It should give them not only fair parental rights and pensions, but also a tax system that is fit for the digital era. Only then will we unlock the true value of the 4.8 million people who now add £275bn to the economy.”

The government has responded to the growth of the self-employment sector with its ‘Good Work Plan’, which aims to reform the workplace over the next 20 years to meet the changing world of employment. These include legislation around sick pay, maternity and paternity leave, as well as tackling non-payment.