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Self-Employed Persons

Volume 113: debated on Wednesday 1 April 1987

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asked the Paymaster General of the 445,000 estimated increase in self-employed individuals between 1983 and 1986 how many were previously (a) employees, (b) unemployed, (c) on the youth opportunities programme/youth training scheme, (d) other special employment measures, and (e) economically inactive.

The estimated 445,000 increase in the number of self-employed persons cannot be classified in the way requested, since it represents the net difference between the numbers entering and leaving self-employment between March 1983 and September 1986.The published employed labour force series does not identify the previous situation of those entering self employment. However, the labour force survey provides information on a different basis. Preliminary LFS results for the spring of 1986 estimate that of 2,723,000 self-employed persons in Great Britain at that time the great majority had been self-employed one year previously, while 202,000 had been employees, 85,000 unemployed and 92,000 economically inactive. Because of considerations of sample size it is not possible to provide a reliable estimate of the number who had been on Government employment and training schemes a year earlier.