Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Soaring employment numbers driven by self-employed as workers gain more control over work

Responding to the latest set of UK labour market data from Office for National Statistics (ONS), covering the three months to December 2019, Gerwyn Davies, Senior Labour Market Adviser for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, comments:

“These latest figures could hardly be better in terms of the strength of employment growth, with full-time employment accounting for all of the employment growth. 

“The majority of the growth is due to the sharp increase in the number of self-employed, with more workers, especially women, taking advantage of the buoyant jobs market by setting up their own businesses. 

“Official figures also show an increase in the number of people working flexibly, including a sharp increase in the number of people using flexi-time. It seems that the tightening labour market is enabling more workers to structure work around their lifestyles and responsibilities, which is undoubtedly helping support such sharp increases in employment growth.  

“The figures also show that the share of people on zero-hours contracts has increased modestly. However, this still amounts to just three per cent of all workers. Some will be quick to point to this as a symptom of increasingly precarious employment, but research has shown that the majority of zero-hours contract workers are satisfied with their arrangements.”