Have you been harbouring an unfulfilled desire to know the employment demographics of the UK’s business community? Then wait no more!
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills recently released the ‘Business Population Estimates 2012′ report, providing insight into the employment makeup of UK’s private sector. Amongst the myriad statistics on sole traders, partnerships and limited companies, there are some genuinely interesting titbits.
Sifting through the report, you’ll find that the total sum of active businesses is the ‘highest since records began’, with a total of 4.8 million private enterprises operating in the UK.
Breaking this number down into smaller chunks, it appears that at the start of 2012, there were 3 million sole traders, 448,000 partnerships and 1.3 million limited companies. Regarding this last statistic, over half a million of these limited companies are apparently ‘one-man-band’ – freelancers and contractors in other words.
Going into further detail, the report estimates that around a quarter of a million new businesses were set up between January 2011 and January 2012. Putting this into percentage terms, there was a 6.5% increase in limited companies during the year in question, along with a 6% increase in sole traders and partnerships. Looking at these stats, an increasing number of people appear to be going it alone. An interesting trend given the economic turmoil (and possibly, because of it!).
Of these new businesses, 170,000 are unregistered. Given HMRC’s latest crackdowns, they had better watch their backs. Some appear to be taking the taxman more seriously, with 82,000 being registered for VAT and/or PAYE.
Delving deeper into the report there’s also a section providing a regional breakdown of the private sector. Here the North-South divide becomes rather obvious, with the spread of private enterprises based largely in London and the Southeast, one third in fact.
Nestled in the home counties is an above-average share of professional service businesses, apparently. If you’re from the South-east (especially Brighton) you’ll probably realise that contributing to this above-average share is a fair amount of freelancers and contractors – you only need to try and get a seat in a coffee shop on a weekday!
Photo by tup wanders