Here are a few facts from the latest publication from the ONS about employment.
Self-employment higher than at any point over past 40 years
Rise in total employment since 2008 predominantly among the self-employed
Rise predominately down to fewer people leaving self-employment than in the past
The number of over 65s who are self-employed has more than doubled in the past 5 years to reach nearly half a million
Self-employed workers tend to be older than employees and are more likely to work higher (over 45) or lower (8 or less) hours
The most common roles are working in construction and taxi driving and in recent years there have been increases in management consultants
Average income from self-employment fallen by 22% since 2008/09
Across the European Union the UK has had the third largest percentage rise in self-employment since 2009
OK, OK this might be academically interesting but what the hell has it got to do with marketing?
Bottom line - it bodes horribly badly for the long term spending power of a large group of older people. They will work longer, for less and will have inadequate pension provision.
Somebody asked me the other day that I seem to be suggesting to avoid marketing to the older consumer, That is not the message - the message is be careful you are marketing to that group of older people who will retain their spending power. A few, but not many, will be self employed. Dick Stroud