UK becoming the ‘self-employment capital’ of Western Europe

Job growth in UK fuelled by fastest growth of self-employment in Europe

  • Growth in self-employment in the UK has been the fastest of all Western European countries over the last year, with the proportion of workers who are self-employed rising by almost a whole percentage point.
  • The UK had internationally low levels of self-employment for many years but has caught up with the EU average
  • Self-employment has proven to be a key driver of overall job creation, with the working-age employment rate reaching historically high levels.

Demography – businesses

Business Demography, 2012: ONS

  • The number of business births increased by 8,000 (3.1 %) between 2011 and 2012.
  • The number of business deaths increased by 25,000 (11.0%) between 2011 and 2012.
  • In 2012 the births of new businesses (270,000) was greater than business deaths (255,000).
  • The move towards economic recovery has seen birth rates being higher than death rates from 2011, but the gap has narrowed in 2012.
  • London had the highest business birth rate at 14.8% and the highest death rate at 11.7%. Apart from London the number of birth and deaths by region were similar.
  • In broad industry terms, accommodation and food services had the highest death rate, at 13.3%.

Small business and the local economy

Local Procurement research report: FSB

  • 58 per cent more of the money spent by local authorities with small firms is re-spent in the local economy compared to that spent with large businesses in the same area.
  • Small local firms generated £746 million more for the local economy compared to large local businesses
  • For every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business (SME) 63p was re-spent in the local area compared to 40p in every £1 spent with a larger business.
  • Local authorities across the UK in the last year spent a total of £8.7 billion buying goods and services in their local area
  • If each authority had spent an additional five per cent of their budget locally and committed just three per cent more of that to small local firms, an additional £788 million could have been generated for local economies.

Homeworking on the increase

Analysis of unpublished data: TUC 

  • The number of people working from home has increased by 13 per cent in the last five years
  • Just over four million employees usually worked at home in 2012, a rise of 470,000 since 2007.
  • 65% of people who work from home are male
  • The majority of homeworking jobs created in the last five years have gone to women.
  • The rise in female homeworking is partly due to the fact that almost nine in ten (86.8 per cent) of these new jobs are part-time.