Self-employed still driving UK labour market strength

IPSE has responded to today’s employment figures showing the continued strength of the UK labour market. Self-employment is still rising across the country, demonstrating the desire for a flexible labour market.

The figures show that 31.8 million people are now in work, which amounts to an increase of 297,000 compared to the same period last year. The self-employed accounted for 25,000 of this increase – a continuation of the sector’s uninterrupted seven-year growth.

Tom Purvis, IPSE Economic Policy Advisor, commented: “The labour market continues to show resilience, despite unstable economic conditions. In the three months from July to September, employment rose compared to the same period last year.

“In a time when we face challenges both with productivity and rising inflation, it's fantastic to see the labour market staying strong, held up by the burgeoning self-employed sector.

“It’s not all good news, however, because there are still concerns about wages in the UK labour market. Figures released yesterday show that inflation remains at three per cent, while wage growth is still well below that. That means that in real terms, workers are still seeing wage cuts.

“Our Freelance Confidence Index shows that this is affecting the self-employed too: average freelancer day rates have now fallen from £525 to £489. On top of this, 82 per cent of freelancers believe their costs will increase over the next 12 months. So in this time of instability, it is vital that the Chancellor uses the Autumn Budget to support the self-employed and ensure their resilience is rewarded.”


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