Contractors might be interested to hear that the UK is fast becoming the ‘self-employment capital’ of Western Europe.
A recent report from think tank IPPR, has found that the number of people becoming self-employed in the UK has seen the fastest growth of all Western European countries over the last 12 months, with proportion of contractors rising by almost a whole percentage point.
According to the IPPR, the UK had internationally low levels of self-employment for many years but has now caught up with the EU average and, if current growth continues, the UK will look more like Southern and Eastern European countries which tend to have much larger shares of self-employed workers
The think tank believes that self-employment has proven to be a key driver of overall job creation, with the working-age employment rate reaching historically high levels.
Spencer Thompson, IPPR Senior Economic Analyst, said, “Around 2,000 people a month are moving off benefits into their own business. The government’s response to the rise in self-employment has been to praise the UK’s entrepreneurial zeal, while increasingly promoting self-employment as an option to job-seekers.
“The self-employed come in many shapes and sizes. Some are entrepreneurs, driven by high-growth ambitions, innovation and disruptive business models, but many are sole-traders bands simply looking to get by or small businesses happy to stay at their current level. The UK is just as much a nation of shopkeepers as a vanguard of cutting-edge capitalism.
“Many older self-employed workers are simply working longer, due to a combination of rises in the pension age and recession-induced falls in the value of wealth stored up for retirement.”
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