A rise in the numbers of self-employed people in Britain raises interesting questions for Marxists about the changing nature of the working class.
Self-employment in Britain is at its highest level in four decades, comprising one in six people in the workforce. About half of the employment expansion since the recession can be explained by its growth.
Has there been an explosion of entrepreneurialism, perhaps made up of the kind of hi-tech start-ups that cluster around “silicon roundabout” in east London? Or are people simply being pushed into more precarious forms of work by employers keen to reduce tax bills, and avoid offering sick pay and other benefits?