IPSE: Self-employment has been doing the heavy lifting for the workforce for the last decade

Self-employment has been doing the heavy lifting behind the positive labour market figures over the last decade, IPSE has said.


As ONS statistics out today show self-employment has stabilised at approximately 4.8 million, IPSE has pointed to the enormous growth in the sector over the last ten years, with the number of people working for themselves rising by over 2.5 million.

The statistics revealed that the employment rate is now 75.7 per cent, the joint-highest level on record. While self-employment may now be stable, it was its enormous rise over the last ten years that took overall employment levels to these heights.  

Andy Chamberlain, IPSE’s Deputy Director of Policy, comments: “The consistently low unemployment figures will have come as a great relief to this embattled Government. While it struggles to keep afloat amid the chaos being caused by Brexit, it at least can point to high levels of employment.

“But when the figures are analysed, it becomes clear that the extraordinary rise in self-employment has made a huge contribution. The Government should be thanking the self-employed. It can do this by reconsidering its policies on IR35 and universal credit, both of which will unfairly disadvantage people who have taken the initiative and struck out on their own.”