An increase in the number of self-employed people is behind recent falls in official unemployment figures as opposed to the creation of new jobs.
Quarterly labour market data, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), revealed there were just 0.2 per cent more ‘employed’ people during the last quarter. This compares to a rise of 4.1 per cent in the self-employed sector during the same period.
The rise in the number of people describing themselves as self-employed equates to an extra 172,000 in the last three months alone. It means the total number of self-employed people comes to 4.37 million, or 14.5 per cent of the total workforce according to PCG, the membership group for the self employed.
According to PCG there has been a 63 per cent rise in the number of people going freelance in the last decade alone. This brings the number to 1.72 million, contributing £95 billion to the UK economy.
Now I know not all portfolio workers are self employed but many of us are. Indeed a continuing frustration for me is that portfolio careers is talked about more and more. I am interviewed now by press and the media far more than after we wrote our book and yet the ONS is still not collecting the data that would give us a real take on how many people are now choosing this as a working life style.