New analysis by Rest Less finds over 50s make up around 45% of the self employed – a number which could rise in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.
Workers over 50 made up 45 per cent of all self-employed workers last year, according to new analysis which suggests that percentage could rise due to rising Covid-related unemployment and age discrimination.
The analysis of the Annual Population Survey by over 50s site Rest Less found that, in 2019, there were 2.26 million over 50s in self-employment.
This is based on figures showing there were just under five million self-employed workers in the UK (4.97m) n 2019, of which just over 2.26m were aged over 50.
Its own poll found that 52 per cent of respondents said they were considering self employment, of which 46 per cent said they were doing so out of choice, 18 per cent out of necessity and 35 per cent said it was a mix of both.
Stuart Lewis, Founder of Rest Less, said: “Whilst many older workers have freed themselves from the shackles of permanent employment to fulfil an entrepreneurial ambition, to work flexibly or to pursue a passion project, there is another side to the self-employment statistics, particularly post-Covid 19.
“Many over 50s already find themselves at the back of the jobs queue, for no reason other than their age, and this is only going to get worse as unemployment levels rise post-pandemic. Our analysis has shown that the number of over 50s claiming universal credit has already soared by 93% since the beginning of this year.
“Some will have no choice but to take reluctant early retirement, some will be forced onto benefits for the first time, whilst others will try to make ends meet through self-employment where they can use their hard-earned skills without worrying about age discrimination in the recruitment process.”