Self-employed in the UK

Self-employed in the UK: ONS

  • The number of workers who are self-employed in their main job rose 367,000 between 2008, the start of the economic downturn, and 2012
  • 60% of the increase in self-employed workers occurred between 2011 and 2012
  • 84% of the increase in self-employed workers since 2008 was for those aged 50 and above

In 2012:

  • Self-employed people worked longer hours than employees, tended to be older than employees and were more likely to be male
  • The four most common occupations for self-employment were taxi or cab drivers, ‘other’ construction trades, carpenters and joiners and farmers
  • The proportion of workers who were self-employed was highest in London (18%), while the lowest proportion was in the North East (11%
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