Table of Contents
Since 2008, the UK, along with a number of other Western nations, has seen a noticeable rise in people going self-employed, either full-time or while working a full-time job. There have been many debates and plenty of questions around this rising trend over the last decade.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the types of businesses that have attracted aspiring entrepreneurs to go from working for someone to working for themselves.
Is Self-employment Still on the Rise in the UK?
The rise of E-commerce and the internet
The previous decade has seen a booming and relentless demand for online shopping and online services. Companies from all over the world have sprung up to fill in the gap and catch a piece of the action.
The most notable example is the rise of Amazon, which has dominated the E-commerce space and replaced many high street businesses, starting with bookstores to now almost everything, excluding cars and properties.
This has led to a surge in self-employed individuals setting up online websites and gig-economy recruits working part-time while studying or caring for others.
What the figures show us
According to recent data points, the rate of self-employment in the UK has not yet recovered since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Despite the sharp drop in self-employment, it has started to increase again and may take some years to get back to pre-pandemic levels.
There are plenty of factors that could influence workers to go into self-employment going forward, considering the cost of living crisis and below-inflation pay increases. Many would argue that is why the “gig economy” has faired so well in recent years, as droves of young workers take on non-skilled zero-hour contract work in their spare time.
This is often to the detriment of their well-being, due to the risk of accidents depending on the nature of their work. Workplace accidents can leave these individuals out of work for significant periods of time, where they may need to make a claim in order to cover the earnings lost.
Given the rapid rise of the E-commerce space and the gig economy replacing many jobs in the retail and catering sectors, it is likely that the trend of workers going self-employed will keep on rising.
This is not guaranteed, of course, and may well change if the political and cultural environment surrounding this goes against the trend and if technological advancement improves so much that workers are no longer needed altogether.