Almost half of self-employed workers in UK are over 50 – study
Almost half of self-employed workers across the UK are over the age of 50, new research suggests.
The number of self-employed people aged 50 or more has increased by 18% in the last decade, according to a report by Rest Less, which offers advice to older people.
A study of official data found that the proportion of self-employed workers aged over 50 has grown year-on-year for the past 10 years.
Stuart Lewis, chief executive of Rest Less, said: “The long term rise in self-employment amongst the over-50s is a significant trend that reflects changing attitudes towards work and retirement amongst this generation.
“As people are living longer, they are increasingly looking for ways to remain engaged and active in the workforce for longer too.
“Self-employment provides a way for older workers to use their skills and experience in a flexible and autonomous way whilst also generating income and maintaining their sense of purpose.
“Technological advancements means setting up a business in your 50s or 60s has never been easier and armed with rich life experience and a valuable business network behind them, the appeal of building something of their own or pursuing a passion project can be a powerful draw.
“There is a more sinister side to the rise in self-employment amongst this age group too. Shut out of the mainstream workforce due to a lack of flexible working opportunities and rampant age discrimination in the workplace means many older workers have no choice but to set up on their own.
“Stuck between a rock and a hard place with a rising cost of living and the state pension age soon to be extended to 67, self-employment can feel like the only option for many who have been denied access to traditional employment.”
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