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Women turn to contracting as redundancies kick in

Women turn to contracting as redundancies kick in

4.132m people in the UK are now self-employed according to the latest employment statistics from the ONS. That’s an increase of 136,000 since February 2011.

A further 12,000 people turned to self-employment between December last year and February this year. However, it may surprise umbrella company contractors to learn that the number of women deciding to go it alone rose by 22,000, whilst the number of men turning self-employed actually dropped by 10,000.

When you look into the figures further it turns out that 77.7% of self–employed men work at least 31 hours a week, whereas only 39.6% of their female counterparts work as many hours. The greatest proportion of self-employed women (34.3%) work between 16 and 30 hours each week. 7.3% of go it alone females work less than 6 hours a week suggesting that they have just set up a small business to earn a bit of extra pin money while the kids are still requiring full-time care.

The gender split is still high with men making up almost 70% of the self-employed community, but is the tide changing? As the government makes more public sector redundancies, we could see further increases in the number of women taking the plunge and joining the ranks of the self-employed.

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Image: A New Era by JD Hancock

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