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‘Generation DIY’: The trend for self-employment – at all ages?

by on July 4, 2014

Just when we thought there couldn’t possibly be another new generational term, along comes ‘Generation DIY’ as coined in this opinion piece in The Independent earlier this week.

Generation DIY is apparently the perfect solution to today’s job market, namely self-employment. Although the article focuses on the increasing number of young people who are turning to self-employment, it’s a wider trend according to the ONS. UK figures released in 2012 showed that the number of self-employed workers rose 367,000 between 2008 (the start of the economic downturn), and 2012. And 84% of the increase since 2008 was for those aged 50 and above.

Is it the answer to a continuing shortage of jobs? The Independent piece positions self employment as a positive and empowering choice: ‘instead of moaning, descending into ugly fatalism, twentysomethings are ā€“ positively ā€“ doing something about it‘. And it may well offer flexibility for some. But financially it may not be a good idea, according to this article in The Guardian which refers to research by the Resolution Foundation suggesting that the typical self-employed person is now being paid 40% less than the average employee.

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