UK self-employment: success story or basket case?

However you examine these figures it isn’t a level playing field and outcomes are not always as ideal as many would presume. Interesting grill down into the stats. Personally I’m interested in the exercise of separating out employee churn data from the supposedly optimum of actual meaningful and well remunerated long term job creation.

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

Some useful data on self-employed incomes appeared while I was out of the country. HMRC published its annual personal income statistics. Because of the time-lag in processing tax returns, this data is always nearly two years out of date, so it tells us what things looked like up to March 2013.

According to HMRC, there were 5.5 million people with self employment income in 2012-13 and, in total, they earned £80.6 billion. Compared with the pre-recession numbers, this shows a big rise in the number of people and a big drop in the amounts earned. In 2007-08 there were 4.9 million people with self-employment income and, in total, they earned £88.4 billion. So an extra 600,000 self-employed people earned around £8 billion less in 2012-13 than in 2007-08. And that’s before allowing for inflation.

The Resolution Foundation updated its all worker earnings estimate last month, which is the closest thing…

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