Monday 24 March 2014 9:32 pm

Self-employed to outnumber the public sector

SELF employed workers will outnumber those in the public sector in just four years, according to an astonishing forecast, as the number of very small firms balloons in number. Research conducted by think tank RSA and e-commerce firm Etsy indicates that the number of people working for themselves will rise above those working for the government as soon as 2018. The number of firms with fewer than 10 employees has swelled by 550,000 since 2008, during the financial crisis, while the number of people working in the public sector has plunged as a share of the British workforce. In the middle of last year, there were 5.7m people working in the public sector, only 18.8 per cent of total employment, the lowest since records began in 1999. “Micro-businesses are the new political force to be reckoned with, but the government has yet to win their favour,” said the RSA’s Benedict Dellot. According to the RSA’s recent polling, only 10 per cent of these micro-businesses believe that the Labour party has the most pro-business policy platform, against 46 per cent that say the Conservative party does.