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Contractor numbers up by 1 million since 2008

Monday 12th February, 2018
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Limited Company
Limited company contractor and freelancer numbers in the UK have increased by more than one million over the last decade, new analysis shows.

Direct Line for Business has published a new report that reveals just how much self-employment has grown in Britain since 2008, with one in seven members of the country's workforce now working for themselves.

Overall, more than 4.8 million are currently self-employed in the UK, after an additional 23,000 workers decided to become their own boss in the first six months of 2017.

Some 27 per cent of self-employed people believe that there are more opportunities available to them in the jobs market today, but 22 per cent of those questioned acknowledged that there was also more competition for roles.

Meanwhile, the number one perk of self-employment was named as having full control over working hours and time off, with 45 per cent of respondents citing this as the main benefit of working independently.

Construction is the sector where workers are most likely to be self-employed, followed by professional services and the automotive industry. Together, contractors in these fields account for 40 per cent of the nation's entire self-employed workforce.

Men are still more likely than women to work for themselves, with male workers accounting for over two-thirds of the contracting workforce.

However, female self-employment has soared in the past five years, with a 24 per cent rise in the number of women becoming their own boss since 2013.

Carly Menken, Head of Trading at Direct Line for Business, commented: "It's especially encouraging to see more women taking advantage of these advancements and opting to start their own business.

"Working alone can be extremely appealing; setting out your own work day and being able to enjoy the profits of your labours. However, it is often a daunting experience when you first start out."

There is plenty of support available though, and PayStream's limited company accountancy service, My PSC is here to provide a safe pair of hands as you get to grips with working for yourself, making sure you're working in the most tax-efficient way.


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