The UK's Office of National Statistics (ONS) released a report showing that self-employment in the UK is the highest its been since they started tracking it 40 years ago.
Their data shows the UK has 4.6 million people working for themselves, with 15% of workforce self-employed. This is up from 13% in 2008, and 8.7% in 1975. They also report that:
- the number of self-employed aged 65 or older has more than doubled over the past 5 years.
- The number of women in self-employment is increasing at a faster rate than the number of men (although men still dominate self employment)
Also interesting is the reason for the growth is fewer self-employed are leaving self-employment. Key quote from ONS report:
"The rise in self-employment can be accounted for by fewer people leaving self-employment than in the past. About 886,000 people who were self-employed in 2009 had left by 2014, compared with 1.3 million who were self-employed in 2004 leaving by 2009 ..."
Canada is also seeing strong self-employment growth, and like the UK 15% of the workforce is self-employed. Also like the UK, Canada has a lot of self-employed seniors with a full third of self-employed workers 65 or older.
And again like the UK, the number of women becoming self=employed is growing faster than the number of men.
The trends driving independent work are global, so seeing self-employment increasing in the UK and Canada is no surprise.
Also not surprising is that women and older workers are becoming self-employed at faster rates than other demographic cohorts. The same is true in the U.S.
The reasons these two groups are attracted to self-employment are the same across all 3 coutntries. They're attracted to the flexibility, autonomy and control independent work provides.