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Increased self employment not a sign of entrepreneurship, report claims

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That’s the verdict of a new report from the Trades Union Congress, which claims that self employment has accounted for 44 per cent of new jobs since 2010.

The TUC thinks that this represents not a boost for entrepreneurship but an increase in “insecure employment” – its figures claim that the number of self-employed who actually run a business has in fact fallen by 52,000.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Self employment accounts for almost half of all the new jobs created under this government.

“But these newly self-employed workers are not the budding entrepreneurs ministers like to talk about. Only a tiny fraction run their own businesses, while the vast majority work for themselves or another employer – often with fewer rights, less pay and no job security.

“While some choose to be self-employed, many people are forced into it because there is no alternative work. The lack of a stable income and poor job security often associated with self-employment makes it hard for people to pay their bills, arrange childcare, plan holidays or even buy or rent a home.”

But Chris Bryce, CEO of PCG, which represents freelancers, said the figures were indicative of a structural change based on how people choose to work, not an indication of an unhealthy jobs market.

He said: “Not only do self-employed people actively stimulate economic growth, research shows their work also creates the permanent jobs which the TUC purports to be fighting for.

“The boom in self employment is at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery and for the TUC to blame it for the problems experienced by vulnerable workers is misguided and unhelpful.”

Related: 10 things entrepreneurs want to see in the Budget

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