In the ONS statistics for November to January it has been revealed that rising self-employed numbers have caused the unemployment rate to fall. The number of employees has in fact fallen.

The number of those registered as self-employed rose by 211,000. Overall, the number of those in employment across the board rose by 105,000, meaning people working for themselves have been picking up the slack as companies lower the number of their employees by 60,000.

The statistics also showed the employment rate has stayed steady, which a slight increase on August to October of 0.3%. The previous year had a rate 71.5% showing that there is continuing improvement.

The country has also failed to reach Mark Carney’s 7% unemployment target as the stats reveal we sit at 7.2%. This is still down from August to October, which sat 7.4%, while the previous year was at 7.8%.

There are also signs that pay is rising as well, with an increase of 1.3% excluding bonuses.

This announcement will come as good news to the Chancellor as he tries to give his budget against a background of continued growth. Unfortunately, despite the self-employed number buoying the report, history suggests Osborne will do little to support them specifically. It might be hoped these stats may convince him to take this part of the workforce into consideration in the future.

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