Apr 28

The rise of the superior self-employed

The rise in self-employment rates has dominated headlines for the past decade, with UK self-employment levels at its highest since records began almost 40 years ago.

There are now nearly five million people in the UK classified as self-employed and the rise in their numbers in recent years has contributed to almost half of the country’s growth in employment.

Where it has been presumed that the economic downturn has played a major factor in the rise of people working for themselves, it has actually been driven more by people in higher-paid than low-paid work, according to a new report by Resolution Foundation.

The Resolution Foundation, an economic think- tank that works to improve the living standards of those in Britain on low to middle income, said:

“The ‘privileged’ self-employed, with good educational qualifications and higher earnings, made up 57% of the growth in self-employment after 2009, typically earning much more than the average worker, at between £45,000 and £65,000 a year.”

Although the 10 biggest groups of self-employed workers are still within joinery and plumbing, construction, education, retail, cleaning, taxis, hairdressing, health, agriculture and design, people working in law, accountancy, health services and management consultancy still make up a large percentage of self-employed workers.

With the flexibility of being your own boss and choosing your own hours, it’s easy to see why so many strive towards achieving a better work-life balance.

But is it all as good as it seems?

According to one of the UK’s leading free debt advice provider PayPlan, financial pressures are a major worry for the self-employed.

PayPlan’s own research found that across the UK, self-employed people under the age of 65 owe on average 36.4 per cent more in personal debt than both employed and unemployed people.

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