Number of self-employed UK workers up 133,000

Self-employed rose to 4.77 million in the three months to November 2016, according to ONS figures

The number of people who describe themselves as self-employed in the UK increased by 133,000, according to the latest ONS figures.

The figure rose to 4.77 million in the three months to November 2016, but the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) has warned that government policy must do more to keep up with a changing labour market.

The news comes as Startups.co.uk launches its annual index of the best business ideas to pursue in 2017, including insurtech, hygge, Brexit consultancy and co-living.

Lorence Nye, IPSE economic policy adviser, said: “Roughly half of the UK’s self-employed are the highly skilled professionals ensuring we remain one of the world’s most flexible, knowledge-based economies.

“The changing nature of the labour market highlights the importance of the Government-commissioned Matthew Taylor review of modern employment practices. We hope it creates a better understanding of the new ways people are working – and how employment status and tax legislation can reflect them.”

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