Research from freelancer group, IPSE, shows there are now almost two million (1,907,000) self-employed people over the age of 50 in the UK: a number that has increased by 58.5 per cent in the last 10 years.
The growth is even bigger among highly skilled freelancers. Now there are almost a million (950,000) highly skilled freelancers in the UK: a number that has risen by 68.2 per cent in the last 10 years.
The IPSE report on the motivations and challenges of the self-employed shows why so many older people are turning to self-employment. They said the four key factors are:
- Being able to work more flexibly (89 per cent agreed this was a factor).
- Having more control over work (89 per cent).
- Having more control over hours (84 per cent).
- The freedom to choose where to work (83 per cent).
One in four older freelancers did say, however, that losing their previous job was a factor in turning to freelancing. This is compared to just seven per cent of 16-29-year-olds.
The report shows that older freelancers are overwhelmingly happy with their lot. Four out of five (81 per cent) said they were happy with freelancing – compared with three out of five 16-29 year olds. No-one disagreed with the statement that freelancing suited their lifestyle – compared to an average of 10 per cent among other age groups.
IPSE’s Chloé Jepps, said: “This research clearly shows that over-fifties have played a crucial part in the growth of self-employment in the last 10 years. And what’s remarkable – aside from the sheer number of older people turning to freelancing – is how happy they seem to be with it.
“Over fifties are looking to freelancing for greater flexibility and control over how and when they work. For some, it is a way to move away from the confines of the 9-5; for others, it’s a way to launch or develop a passion project.
“It is clear that freelancing is not just an economic good for this country: it is also a great social good and a liberating force for millions of older workers. It is vital the government gets behind this remarkable shift in our workforce.”
If you wish to comment on this article, please log in and use the Reply button below. Registering is free and easy - see 'Join Shout99'.
Susie Hughes © Shout99 2019