The Office for National Statistics (ONS) had the rare pleasure of announcing last week that self employment has increased to its highest level in over 40 years. Obviously this is incredibly welcome news here at Startacus, but we have to admit that even we were somewhat surprised by the announcement.
For so long now, all we seem to be hearing is that economic indicators point to slow recovery following the recession, with some figures increasing towards pre-crash levels…but certainly not exceeding them.
However self starter spirit seems to have one won out against the darkness of economic gloom with a huge 15% of those in employment in the UK now working for themselves, equating to about 4.6 million people. This represents an increase of almost 20% when compared to the pre-financial crisis figures released in 2008 which showed that just 12% of working people were self employed.
The really interesting figure
Since 2008 there has been an increase of 1.1 million in the number of people who are employed in the UK, of which two thirds describe themselves as self employed. It’s hard to believe…twice as many people created their own job, as there were staff roles created in this period. It’s an astonishing figure that becomes all the more amazing when you consider the economic climate during which this increase has occurred.
We had a chat with Startacus Member Ross Harrison who has recently become a self-employed professional proofreader. He had this to say;
“I think that this increase in self employment is largely down to a dissatisfaction with the traditional volatility of employment opportunities. To a large extent, when you are employed as a member of staff, your job security relies on the overall success of the company, and not necessarily your contribution to it. With self-employment, the variables are much more in your control and as a result so too are the successes and failings”
It stands as testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the British people that when faced with a severe shortage of jobs and a rapidly shrinking economy, so many of them chose to go it alone and create their own business.
Whilst the UK government like to take the bulk of the credit for the ‘end of the recession’ this is further indication that it is the individual, the self starter, the freelancer, the startup and the small business owner that have been and continue to be the backbone of economic recovery.
Congratulations ye 700,000 self starters, we salute you!
If you have a great startup, project or idea then why not add it to our fab new collaboration space where you can get support from self starters, mentors and investors.