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Report indicates surge in self employment

06 May 2014

The think tank Resolution Foundation has released a report showing that the number of self employed people has increased by 650,000 since 2008.

4.5m people are now self employed in the UK. Concerns have been raised that this increase could be the real driving force behind the recent fall in unemployment figures, which the Coalition Government has been keen to promote in recent months.

Bank of England policy makers are discussing whether this increase reflects structural changes in the UK economy or ‘disguised labour market slack’.

The Office for National Statistics reported that more than 70% of those newly self employed are aged over 50, indicating that the move could be made as an alternative to retirement.

The Resolution Foundation said the increase presents ‘a worrying picture of the security and vulnerability of self employed people’. This is due to their being unlikely to contribute to a pension. Figures indicate that 31% of self employed contribute to a pension compared with 52% of employees.