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Number of people working at home expanding rapidly

The number of people working from home on a self-employed basis is growing at five times the overall rate of employment, new figures released by the Financial Times show.

The statistics, compiled for the Financial Times by Live Work Network, a consultancy specialising in home-based business, reveal that self-employed people who work at home are the fastest growing sector of the workforce in Britain since 2001. The overall British workforce grew 4.8 per cent between 2001 and 2010 but the number of self-employed people in that period boomed by 24 per cent.

The figures show that one in 12 of the British population now work from home on a self-employed basis – that’s the equivalent of well over 2 million people. Since 2001, the number of people working from home in Britain has grown 21 per cent and overall, 3,744,451 people now work from home.

According to Live Network the growth has been fuelled by issues such as better broadband, environmental concerns and lower costs. It also said that more businesses are now insisting that staff work from home, rather than offering the option.

Tim Dwelly, director of Live Work Network, said, “Seven in ten homeworkers run their own businesses. They don’t see pension benefits at work, don’t get a share of company profits, so they decide to keep the value of their intellectual property to themselves. And there is an aversion to commuting.”

This is the first time that Live Work Network has compiled these statistics but will now continue to track the trends on an annual basis.

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