Cyprus ranks among the three countries in Europe that saw the percentage of self-employed people rise by at least 10 per cent in the period between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014.
According to a report by the British Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), the number of people working for themselves in Cyprus increased by 12 per cent over the one-year period. In total, the share of workers who were self-employed in March stood at 17 per cent.
Only Slovenia recorded a larger change in the number of self-employed (16 per cent). Cyprus was followed by Bulgaria (10 per cent).
As regards the total share of people in their own business, Cyprus ranked sixth in Europe behind Greece (32 per cent), Italy (23 per cent) and Poland, Romania and fYROM (18 per cent).
The British institute’s report says that the analysis confirms the fact that Southern and Eastern European countries tend to have much larger shares of self-employed workers, in comparison to Western Europe.
Nevertheless, an 8.0 per cent change was recorded in the United Kingdom, where the analysis focused. As the latest unemployment figures confirmed on Wednesday, now almost one in six workers in the UK is self-employed.
IPPR commented that “the UK is becoming the ‘self-employment capital’ of Western Europe.”
Spencer Thompson, IPPR Senior Economic Analyst, noted that the government’s response to the rise in self-employment has been to praise the UK’s entrepreneurial zeal, while increasingly promoting self-employment as an option to job-seekers. On the other hand, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England, while divided on the issue, sees the rise in self-employment as a sign that the labour market may be weaker than it appears. (CNA)