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CEP Covid-19 analysis

The self-employment trap?

The seventh LSE-CEP survey of the self-employed was undertaken in June 2023. The results revealed that the self-employed are still in the doldrums and their incomes and activity have not resumed to pre-pandemic levels. The cost of living crisis has been exacerbated by the increase in interest rates, which has hit homeowner self-employed particularly hard. While many among them express willingness to move towards positions in salaried employment, they are often prevented to do so by the scarcity of suitable jobs or the lack of adequate skills or training. The hardships they are facing is also affecting their health, with one in three self-employed displaying "Moderate" to "Severe" mental health issues. Nevertheless, their discontent is likely to be reflected in the next general election outcomes, as many self-employed are turning from voting Conservative to Labour.

Robert Blackburn, Stephen Machin and Maria Ventura

25 September 2023     Paper Number CEPCOVID-19-030

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This CEP Covid-19 analysis is published under the centre's Labour markets programme.