The true diversity of self-employment
Uncovering the different segments of the UK's self-employed workforce
This report produced by IES in conjunction with the Centre for Research on Self-Employment presents analysis of the solo self-employed workforce and identifies nine distinct segments of this population.
In the context of a considerable rise in the numbers of solo self-employed workers, and growing policy and media scrutiny of the self-employed workforce, the research helps to explain the diverse nature of this broad section of the UK workforce.
The analysis found that the majority of the solo self-employed workforce experience high levels of independence, security and job satisfaction. Indeed, eight out of the nine segments of the solo self-employed, identified in the research, were as satisfied, or more satisfied, than employees doing similar jobs.
The research involved a detailed literature review and analysis of three datasets offering insights on the self-employed workforce. These datasets were the Labour Force Survey, the Family Resources Survey and Understanding Society. Key indicators across these three datasets were selected, in order to create a framework for segmenting different types of self-employment. These three indicators were economic wellbeing, whether the work is independent or dependent, and the extent to which the work is secure or insecure.
An executive summary is also available, click here.