Wednesday 19 October 2016

Self-employed are earning less than ever

self employed

Britain's growing number of self-employed workers are earning less than they were 15 years ago and are vulnerable to changes that will make the welfare system less generous, two new thinktank reports have revealed.

The Resolution Foundation said the 45% increase in people deemed to be working for themselves since 2001-02 had been accompanied by a £60-a-week cut in the average pay packet.

Meanwhile, the Social Market Foundation said many of those working for below the minimum wage in a sector that includes construction site workers and drivers for Deliveroo and Uber, stood to lose out when the government's new universal credit replaces existing benefits.

The two reports come as the government launches an investigation led by Matthew Taylor, the former head of Tony Blair's No 10 policy unit, into the pay and conditions of the one-in-seven workers who are self-employed.

Adam Corlett, economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: "Almost five million workers across Britain are now self-employed. But while the self-employed workforce is getting bigger, typical earnings are actually lower than they were 20 years ago.

"Prior to the financial crisis, this stagnation was as much about the changing nature of self-employed work, rather than individual rewards. But since the crisis the returns to self-employment have fallen sharply, even when measured on a like-for-like basis."

The Resolution Foundation said typical weekly earnings for self-employed workers grew steadily in the late 1990s and early 2000s, stagnated in the run-up to the crash and then fell by a quarter in the wake of the financial crisis.



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