The number of self-employed people has risen by 98,000 in the three months leading up to November 2015, compared to the same period in 2014, according to figures from the ONS.
Self-employment is at its highest ever level (4.62 million), with the overall employment rate hitting another record high (74 per cent), with strong growth also recorded in full-time jobs.
The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) welcomes the significant increase and record high in the number of people who work for themselves.
IPSE economic policy adviser, Lorence Nye says that the labour market figures again show that more and more people are realising the benefits of self-employment and opting to become their own boss.
‘Freelancing is no longer limited to certain professions or specific age groups. They are an established part of the labour market, with workers in every sector and from every demographic,’ he says.
‘We’ve seen much of the rapid growth over the past decade come from older workers who continue their careers past retirement age, with the second largest contribution coming from those under thirty. This broad growth is also reflected across all professions.’
Nye adds that the self-employed are now a key part of the UK economy.
‘Their flexibility provides a unique characteristic that has powered the UK through the financial crisis and may be the one thing that shelters the country from the potential global economic storm appearing on the horizon.
‘We hope the government will continue to implement tailored policies to help this essential sector flourish to allow for the UK to retain its competitive edge.’