A report from the National Office of Statistics on 6th Feb 2013 has shown some interesting trends in self employment rates and gives up to date figures on how many people work from home.
The figures may go some way to explaining why unemployment figures have not been higher since the start of the recession. Many business commentators think that the unemployment rate of around 8% is lower than expected and a result of companies holding onto employees and waiting for better times.
However, the report from NOS shows that 367,000 people have stated counting themselves as self
employed since 2008 which is around 1% of the working population, and why the unemployment rate is not closer to 10%.
By June 2012 there were an estimated 4.2 million people in the UK who regarded themselves as self employed, compared to 3.8 million just before the start of the recession in 2008.
Working from home
58% of the self employed relied on their home in some form. The detailed figures are:
- 15% = 630,000 people work from home
- 5% = 210,000 worked on the same grounds as their home
- 38% = 1,600,000 of self employed used their home as a base.
Self employed people work longer hours than employed people and a third said they are working more than 45 hours per week, compared to just over a fifth of employed people.
Whilst the numbers have grown the has not been much change the main occupations of those counting themselves as self employed. Tax drivers and Chauffeurs, other construction trades, carpenters/joiners, and farmers are the top occupations.
The older people are the more likely they are to be self employed. Only 5% of 16 to 24 year olds are self employed but this rises to 37% of those over 65. There are some clear reasons for this:
– older people have gained the experience and skills required, and created a network of contacts.
– Older people are more likely to be able to fund the start up costs, perhaps through a redundancy payment.
– Older workers are more likely to carry on past 65 if they are working for themselves rather than working for someone else.
- Older people have gained the experience and skills required, and created a network of contacts.
- Older people are more likely to be able to fund the start up costs, perhaps through a redundancy payment.
- Older workers are more likely to carry on past 65 if they are working for themselves rather than working for someone else.
There are some extremes in the hours worked, both of which show it is not easy to find a happy medium when self employed.
At one end, 10.8% said they wanted to do more hours. At the other end of the scale, 22% are working more than 45 hours per week.
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