Self-employment is beginning to rise again in the UK according to recent data provided by the Office for National Statistics.
Over the past five years the employment rate in the North East has gone from 65.6% to 69.1%.
Lindsay Wood, from Gateshead, is a self-employed worker under the umbrella of Forever Living.
The mother-of-three explains how being self-employed has had a massive impact on her personal and family life: “It’s your business in a box, it’s in your home and it’s up to you how it goes and you work it yourself and obviously in and around your family. Its given me loads more confidence just to go and talk to people where otherwise I was quite a quiet person and quite shy.”
Lindsay says that not only does being self-employed benefit her personal and family life but also how she also has the freedom of doing what she enjoys doing: “It fits in for me for when the kids are at school and it gives me something to do. So in between football and computer games this is my little thing that I have and I love planning my dairy, filling it all out, packing the bags and having parties, which are fun, cause you have lots of games involved. So I do I just love everything about it. Network Marketing seems to be the way forward.”
According to parliament most people who are self-employed have chosen to be so voluntarily and many value the freedom it provides. But the flexibility cuts both ways, and the growth in the numbers of self-employed, particularly at the lower end of the income distribution, raises questions about job security.
However, looking at the latest employment data from the Office for National Statistics shows that in the past five years the self-employment rate has risen from 3969 to 4380. Meaning 411 more people are in work and earning money from self-employment alone.
Natalie Banks, from Gateshead, also works for the Network Marketing Company, Forever Living. She explains how being self-employed benefits her personal life: “It gives me a lot of freedom because money isn’t a worry and I can do what I want when I want. I don’t have to think ‘I can’t do that I’m skint’. It’s a massive help.”
Wanting to find out more about the benefits of being self-employed Dale Davies, a freelancer for a Digital PR company says: “Working from home. Choosing my own hours. My boss doesn’t lie to me and I can find more time for things I enjoy like travel.”