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Industry output down 15% in 2020 as self-employed numbers plummet 13% year-on-year in Q4

In the February issue of Workforce Barometer, we analyse the latest ONS data to provide you with insights into the economic impact of the pandemic on the sector, including which sectors have suffered most from redundancies, the impact on Zero Hours Contract working, and activity surrounding the management of SOW resources. We also look at the change in self-employed worker numbers by sector to chart the potential fall-out from the impending off-payroll reforms.

As a backdrop to the on-going challenges facing our sector, whilst not all self-employed work on a freelance basis into UK plc, the dramatic fall in self-employment numbers – ending the year 13.0% (652k) lower in Q4 2020 than in Q4 2019 – is undoubtedly hampering the industry’s recovery. And, whilst temporary employment numbers are buoyant (up 10.0% / 142k, YoY, in Q4 2020), it is the rise in FTC working that is causing the upward spike, as we evidenced last month.

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