Contractors will be interested to hear that the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) report has shown there has been a sharp rise in the number of people joining the contracting workforce.
ONS findings revealed that the number of people in the UK who are self-employed, has reached record figures soaring by 172,000 in the last quarter of 2013, reaching 4.37 million and accounting for 14.5% of the total UK workforce.
The Professional Contractors Group (PCG) responds to the latest ONS figures. Georgios Nikolaidis, PCG’s Economic Policy Adviser, said, “This latest sharp increase in self-employment is more proof that the way we work is changing. The rise in those choosing to go into business on their own account is now outstripping the growth in traditional employment at a rate of almost three to one.
“The persistence of self-employment, growing uninterrupted from 2004 onwards, points towards a structural change in the labour market rather than a cyclical reaction to the financial crisis.
“Our research shows that the rise in those choosing to go freelance, a sub-set of the self-employed population, has been building momentum steadily in recent years despite the changing economic conditions. With an increase of 63% over the last decade through bad times and now good times, this should be recognised as a sea change in how we approach the concept of work in this country.
“More people want to be their own boss and take charge of their own personal ‘brand’. What’s more, businesses large and small are realising that incorporating this flexibility into their business model stimulates growth, mitigates risk and unlocks serious competitive advantages.
“Freelancing is no longer the preserve of distinct professions or specific age groups. Independent professionals are now everywhere and their importance to our economy cannot be underestimated.”
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