Nearly a quarter (22%) of UK employees in small firms and 27% of those in medium-sized firms want to become self-employed, according to data published by Co-operatives UK.

The report, which tracks levels of self-employment, also highlighted data that over 4.6 million people in the UK are now self-employed and now account for 15% of the UK workforce – the highest level since records began.

Co-Operatives have suggested that the number of self-employed is likely to increase still further over the next year, as work patterns in the UK economy continue to change.

Said Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK, “More people are turning to self-employment, whether out of choice or necessity. Our data shows this is likely to grow, with a significant number of people who are currently in employment interested in going freelance.”

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