Last month The Office of National Statistics released a report on Self-Employed people in the UK, stating that levels are higher than at any point in the previous four decades.
- Self-employment higher than at any point over past 40 years
- Rise in total employment since 2008 predominantly among the self-employed
- Rise predominately down to fewer people leaving self-employment than in the past
- The number of over 65s who are self-employed has more than doubled in the past 5 years to reach nearly half a million
- Self-employed workers tend to be older than employees and are more likely to work higher (over 45) or lower (8 or less) hours
- The number of women in self-employment is increasing at a faster rate than the number of men (although men still dominate self-employment)
- The most common roles are working in construction and taxi driving and in recent years there have been increases in management consultants
- Average income from self-employment fallen by 22% since 2008/09
- Across the European Union the UK has had the third largest percentage rise in self-employment since 2009
There could be many reasons for this, and in the full report, the ONS expands on the data to help people draw conclusions. Whatever the reason, we at the BCB see this as a positive trend as the more companies that exist, the greater the opportunity for UK company international expansion.
Of the three industries mentioned in the points above, both construction and management consulting are sectors where there are significant market opportunities in the UAE for UK firms (for the most part, Taxis are managed by government/semi-government agencies in the UAE).
You can read the full report here.