The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has welcomed ONS data showing the easing of lockdown restrictions earlier this year helped to stabilise self-employed numbers.
The data revealed that although there are still 500,000 fewer freelancers than the same time last year, the total number of freelancers in March had risen by 21,000 compared to the previous month. This is the second consecutive month-on-month increase in self-employed numbers since the beginning of the pandemic.
Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE said, “The data this morning shows clear and welcome signs the self-employed sector is finally moving in the right direction. Although overall numbers are still down by over 500,000 compared to the same time last year, we have now seen the second month-on-month increase in the number of self-employed since the beginning of the pandemic.
“The halt to the roadmap announced yesterday, however, may be a blow to this progress, and we continue to urge the government to introduce a sectoral support and stimulus package to protect affected sectors such as events and the creative industry – and also give them the boost they need to get back on their feet once the economy fully re-opens.”