IPSE hails record self-employment – especially among women

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IPSE has responded to today’s employment figures showing the continued strength of the UK labour market. It particularly highlighted the role the rising number of self-employed played in the figures.  

The new labour market figures show that 32.1 million people are now in work in the UK – a rise of 94,000 from May 2017. A large factor behind this is the growth in the number of self-employed people by 70,000, taking the UK total to a record 4.86 million. They now make up 15.1 per cent of the UK workforce.

Tom Purvis, IPSE Economic Policy Adviser, commented: “Today’s employment figures show the UK labour market is going from strength to strength – in no small part because of the growing number of people taking the leap into self-employment.

“Nor is it just the self-employed in general who are driving the UK’s high employment figures – it’s particularly self-employed women. In fact, out of the 94,000 more people in work – both employed and self-employed – 78,000 are women. Self-employment is giving more and more women the chance to work flexibly, which is especially welcome to recent mothers.

“Overall, these figures show just how important the self-employed have become to our labour market. The flexibility they provide will be absolutely essential to sustaining a successful economy after Brexit.”


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Tristan Grove

Head of Communications and Policy Engagement