Self-employment trends: why entrepreneurship might be making a comeback

post by Pistrik · 2020-09-18T19:06:40.895Z · score: -1 (2 votes) · EA · GW · 2 comments

Despite a long-term trend seeing more and more people working for themselves in the UK, there has been a sharp dip in self-employment since the end of 2019. But as many vacancies have dried up, could entrepreneurship soon be on the rise?

According to analysis by NimbleFins, the number of self-employed workers has fallen from over 5 million in Oct-Dec 2019 to close to 4,7 million in Apr-Jun 2020 (ONS figures). However, these fluctuations can be seen as minor changes compared to the larger trend. According to the same report, the proportion of self-employed workers has remained relatively steady for the past seven years.

The recent drop in self-employment comes during the COVID-19 lockdown, contributing to the plummeting numbers of people in employment. April to June 2020 saw the largest quarterly decrease in the total number of people in employment since the last global recession (specifically, May to June 2009). In addition to falls in self-employment driving the change, mature workers (aged 65+) and part-time workers also contributed to the drop in employment numbers.

In addition to the employment numbers dipping, vacancies have dried up as well during the COVID-19 crisis in the UK. The estimated number of vacancies in the UK has fallen more sharply during recent months than in midst of the 2008-2009 recession.

As for my prediction, I reckon the combination of a lack of vacancies and a high number of people being out of employment will soon drive the self-employment rates up again. It is high time to get creative and start a freelance job, and for many, that might be the only viable option.

2 comments

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comment by Aaron Gertler (aarongertler) · 2020-09-19T00:11:47.218Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Would you mind expanding on how you see this as relating to effective altruism? I don't see a clear connection.

comment by Pistrik · 2020-09-23T08:25:30.283Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

I'm new to effective altruism, but I'll try to explain the connection. As far as I understand, exploring the underlying trends of the labour market and proposing an actionable answer (self-employment, freelancing) is a part of effective altruism, as it can be defined [? · GW]as using "high-quality evidence and careful reasoning to work out how to help others as much as possible".

I'll try to make the connection more clear in future posts! I'm still learning, but I'll get there.