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Latest findings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that the number of Brits who are self-employed has risen considerably over the last year.

Labour Market Statistics show that the number of self-employed people has increased by a further 404,000 over the last 12 months, bringing the figure to 4.58 million.

According to the Professional Contractors Group (PCG), this news is certainly a cause for celebration.

Simon McVicker, Director of Policy and External Affairs at PCG, commented on the ONS findings, “Over the last year, we’ve seen the rate of growth in self-employment rise at almost five times the rate of traditional employment to stand at a record high of 4.58 million. Unemployment also fell by 6.5%, thanks in no small part to the army of brave individuals making the choice to go it alone.

“It is also encouraging to see that women are central to this growth in self-employment, up 15% while permanent employment among women grew by just 1.8% in comparison.

“This is likely to partly be due to the flexibility that self-employment offers, making it easier to juggle work and family commitments and could also be indicative of a welcome societal shift in attitudes away from the idea that running a small business is the sole preserve of men.

Simon McVicker also said that it is encouraging to see self-employed people ‘bucking the trend’ when it comes to the weak pay growth currently affecting those in traditional permanent employment.

He added, “Our latest Freelancer Confidence Index shows that over a third of self-employed people are confident their income will increase over the next twelve months.

“While self-employment comes with risk and self-reliance, it also provides the opportunity to shape your own destiny in a way that is becoming ever more popular among Britain’s workforce.”

Simon Dolan is the Sales & Marketing Manager for Contractor Umbrella Ltd, one of the UK’s Most Respected Umbrella Companies and founder member of AllUmbrellaCompaniesAreEqual.
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