The number of people who are self-employed has increased by over 730,000 in the past six years, but average income has slumped by 22 per cent, a new study has revealed.
Around 4.6 million people now work for themselves, more than at any time in the past 40 years, according to the Office for National Statistics. The number of self-employed over 65-year-olds has more than doubled over the past five years to almost half a million.
The most common jobs are in construction and taxi driving, although there has also been growth in management consultancy. Average income from self-employment has fallen by over a fifth since 2008, to £207 a week.
The TUC said income has “collapsed”. General secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Self-employment appears to be a key factor in the UK economy’s shift towards low-paid work. Many people want to work for themselves, but the growth in self-employment is reducing pay, job security and retirement income, and is likely to be reducing the Government’s tax take too.”