There has been a major shift in the labour market towards self-employment with 4.8 million self-employed workers in the last quarter of 2016 — almost a 50% increase compared to 2000.
The trend has been particularly strong for part-time self-employment, which increased by 88% between 2001 and 2015 (compared to only 25% increase in part-time employment in the same period). The number of full-time self-employed workers increased by 25%. While still a majority of self-employed workers are men (mostly due to their dominance in the full-time self-employed group) the propensity of women to become self-employed is rising (women already account for 60% of part-time self-employed group). These numbers indicate that — while the unstable post-crisis market could have contributed to the shift — the trend has its origin much earlier.
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