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ONS stats comment: Stagnant wages pushing Brits into self employment

The latest official data shows record employment levels in the UK, but a drop in wages is likely to push more people than ever before towards self employment in 2018, World Options predicts.

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According to the Office for National Statistics, UK unemployment fell by 3,000 to 1.44 million from September to November 2017, taking employment to its joint highest level since comparable records began in 1971. But average wages in real terms - compared to inflation - fell by 0.5 per cent compared with the previous year.

Franchisor and shipping solutions firm, World Options, has already seen a high number of enquiries regarding its franchising opportunities so far this year, and visits to these pages on its website are up 56 per cent in January 2018 compared with December 2017.

Stewart Butler, sales director at World Options, says: “January and February are already the busiest times for people searching for new jobs and looking to change their careers, and these latest statistics are likely to spur people on even more.

“Self employment puts workers back in control of their wages and provides a fresh opportunity for people to do something they are really passionate about. We have already seen a huge rise in the number of people approaching us about starting up their own business and I wouldn’t be surprised if we witness record levels of self employment in 2018.”

Running your own business has many advantages but it can also be an extremely challenging time. To help people understand whether it is the best option for them, World Options has created a series of interactive tools to guide them through the process.

The first tool in the series is a flowchart that helps the user to decipher whether self employment would suit them, followed by a quiz that determines the best form of self employment, ranging from consultancy to franchising and going it alone.

Further reading on the subject is available with a guide to all the ways people can work for themselves, and the potential benefits and drawbacks of each, which is free to download from bit.ly/selfemploymentguide.

Stewart says: “For those who have done all the research and found the right option for them, self employment can be incredibly rewarding and more financially lucrative than other career paths, while providing the best possible work-life balance.”