Labour Market

Redundancy figures mask devastating impact of Covid on self-employed

Responding to the latest employment data, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Professor Len Shackleton, Editorial and Research Fellow at the free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The hit to jobs between August-October and the previous quarter is, in net terms, confined to the self-employed, who have been particularly badly affected by the recession.

“Self-employment was 183,000 lower – while the numbers in employee jobs actually rose by 38,000 compared with May-July.

“Male employees were harder hit, 
falling by 66,000, while the number of female employees rose by 105,000.

“Amongst the self-employed, however, the picture was different: male self-employed fell by 90,000, while women self-employed fell by 93,000 – and from a far lower base. 

“The self-employed have lost out badly over the course of the pandemic. As the economy recovers, those working for themselves should not be singled out for higher taxes as a payback for government help during the pandemic – particularly as this help was badly targeted and failed to reach the majority of those working for themselves.”


Notes to editors

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For further IEA reading on the self-employed, click here.

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