Self-employment has broken the five million mark for the first time as more women opt to work for themselves.
The rise has been attributed by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) to the rise in the number of female self-employed.
The Association has also highlighted its own recent research showing freelancers are choosing to work for themselves for “overwhelmingly positive” reasons.
“The figures today show the freedom and flexibility of self-employment are very attractive to more and more people across the UK. Especially women,” said Inna Yordanova, Senior Researcher at IPSE.
“Female freelancers are at the forefront of the self-employed revolution. Although there are still more self-employed men, the number of women going into self-employment is rising at a faster rate.
“Not only have 16,000 more women gone into self-employment than men in the last quarter. Our research also shows the number of women in self-employment has grown by 57% in the last ten years compared to 25% among men. And there was an even more remarkable 63% increase in the number of highly skilled female freelancers.
“What’s more, we have also found they are going into self-employment for overwhelmingly positive reasons like having more freedom to choose where they work (83% of freelancers said this was a factor), when they work (84%) and having a better work-life balance (73%).
“Freedom, flexibility and choice: these are the watchwords for the self-employed that are driving this revolution. Especially among female freelancers. Now it is up to the government to make sure this vital and growing sector has the support and freedom it needs.”