According to a new survey, one in six workers from the town of Harlow in Essex are classed as self employed, with many of those being contractors.
It just goes to show that even in smaller towns around the country self employment is in full swing, where a lot of people are now deciding to get rid of a boss and start working for themselves.
Interestingly, there was similar survey conducted in Harlow around 10 years ago, where at that time the self employment percentage was below 10%. It makes you wonder what the figure will be in another 10 years time? My guess would be at least 25%.
Of course, you get more self employed workers in big cities such as London and Birmingham, but that is where a lot of contractor and freelancer jobs are to be found.
In places like Harlow the amount of opportunities is not on that kind of scale, but things are improving, especially now the internet has made it possible to work from home without having to commute to an office or place of business.
I’m sure that many self employed workers in Harlow have contracts and jobs from some very big companies, it’s just they don’t have to make the move to London in order to make a living, although some contractors might commute to the capital I’m sure.
Other towns in Essex have also witnessed a boom in the number of self employed workers. Take Colchester for example, where 10 years ago the number of people working for themselves was at 8,800. Fast forward to the present day, and according to the survey there is now 15,500 people who are classed as self employed.
Epping Forest has the most amount of self employment in Essex though, with 22% of the people there being classed as working for themselves.
There is also no doubt many public sector contractors based in the towns of Essex, although I’m sure that many of them are not impressed with the recent IR35 changes.
If reports are to be trusted, then a lot of contractors in the public sector are going to be leaving soon…following the thousands who have already packed their bags and gone elsewhere.
The good thing about self employment, either in Essex or anywhere else in the country, is that there is just so much opportunity.
As long as you have some determination and a desire to succeed, then there are many different potential avenues to pursue, whether it’s as a contractor, freelance professional, gig worker, or small business owner.