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Number of UK self-employed up by 182,000

Latest quarterly ONS figures show there are now 4.69 million self-employed individuals and freelancers across the country...

The number of self-employed in the UK has risen by 182,000 from January to March 2016 compared to the same period last year, latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures report.

This means there are now 4.69 million self-employed people in the UK, accounting for 15% of the workforce. With self-employment continuing to rise, the ONS has suggested that self-employed people and freelancers are “driving the successes of the labour market and growth in the economy”.

A recent survey from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) found that over two thirds (68%) of UK freelancers are as or more confident in their business' performance for the year ahead than they were last year, while other research revealed that freelancers contributed £109bn to the UK economy in 2015.

Lorence Nye, IPSE economic advisor, commented:

“The interesting thing is that the latest figures show full time self-employed people are the fastest growing group of workers in the nation. We know people who work for themselves report particularly high levels of job satisfaction and our research shows the vast majority have no intention of returning to traditional employment.”

Henry Williams
Henry Williams

Henry has been writing for since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also contributed to many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Young Guns, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides. Before joining the team, he reviewed films for a culture website, and still harbours ambitions of being a screenwriter.


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