Figures released by the government show the West Midlands is right at the forefront of the self employment revolution.
Since 2008, 35,000 workers have become self employed in the region, which means that by the beginning of 2016 that amounted to a total of 131,000 self employed workers.
Of course, many of the people in these figures are contractors and freelancers, which just goes to show how popular the industry is becoming.
When you add that many self employed people can work the majority of time at home from their laptop, then it’s easy to see why thousands around the West Midlands are going out on their own.
I think the government needs to be congratulated about these figure. Why? Because they have always led the push for more self employment in areas such as the Midlands, giving people incentives to go out on their own, and even offering benefits for those first few months which can be challenging
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think for a minute that a “benefit culture” is a good thing, but if it can help some people start a business or adapt to the contractor lifestyle for a month or two, then it can be very beneficial, just as long as people don’t start to try and game the system.
At the end of the day, if someone has a proven business plan and the energy and focus to make it happen, then why not get some incentives from the government to make it happen. Far more better than putting barriers in the way of people becoming self employed or just looking to tax them at every available opportunity, to the point where it makes no sense to work for yourself.
In this post Brexit economy we need entrepreneurs more than ever before, so that we are able to get back to a position of strength and then compete in the European markets once again.
Where exactly in the West Midlands is all of this self employment? Solihull and Walsall have the most according to the figures, with 9.6% and 7.8% for both of them.
Quite surprisingly, the city of Birmingham only had 7.6%, which means it came in at third on the table for the West Midlands.
Personally I expected it to be higher, especially when you consider the amount of people that live in Birmingham. I’m sure they can do more over the next 10 years though, in order to claim that number 1 position.
All in all these are good signs for the UK economy, and if other areas of the country follow suit then we have a lot to be excited about.