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CYPRUS: Double-digit rise in self-employed

14 August, 2014

Cyprus ranks among the three countries in Europe that saw the rate of self-employed people rise by at least 12% 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% over the one year period. In total, the share of workers who were self-employed in March stood at 17%.
Only Slovenia recorded a larger change in the number of self-employed (16%). Cyprus was followed by Bulgaria (10%).
As regards the total share of people in their own business, Cyprus ranked sixth in Europe behind Greece (32%), Italy (23%) and Poland, Romania and FYROM (18%).
The British institute’s report remarks 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% 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, see the rise in self-employment as a sign that the labour market may be weaker than it appears.