IPSE warns over slowing self-employment growth


IPSE has responded to today’s labour market statistics showing that self-employment growth may be beginning to slow down.

The new figures released by the ONS today show that there are now 32.2 million people in work – 415,000 more than this time last year. However, the growth in employment has come from employees rather than people choosing to go self-employed. This month, the level of self-employment remained the same: 15 per cent of the workforce (a total of approximately 4.77 million people).

Tom Purvis, IPSE’s Economic Policy Advisor, commented: “The slowdown in the growth of self-employment should ring alarm bells for the Government. It should be especially concerning given the recent news about the importance of the service sector – which has a strong self-employed presence – to the UK’s productivity. If the Government wants the service sector-driven growth in productivity to continue, it should focus its efforts on creating a supportive environment for the self-employed.

“Self-employed people are facing many challenges at the moment, not least because of problems with Universal Credit. This flawed system is leaving self-employed people up to £3,000 a year worse off than employees earning the same money. This is just one of the areas where the Government should be striving to create a better environment for the self-employed. To this end, IPSE has already offered the Government inquiry into Universal Credit ideas for making the system fairer for people who work for themselves.”


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