The European Politics Blog

Blogging about politics and current affairs in Europe

Self-employment hasn’t managed to successfully lure away a great share of the unemployed population for only somewhere around 14percent of European workers choose this job option. The figures vary however, as you head further into Eastern Europe, whose workforce have possibly been spurred on by dire poverty and war-ravaged locales to go out and make something out of their lives. Technology advancements have impacted the labour markets in the region, so piecemeal choices of a new mode of work that are quite insecure or entrepreneurial in terms of innovation are being lauded upon, and that is not always a safe-option to bet on for the long haul for workers. As you grow older, in the United Kingdom, there is increasing likelihood that you will choose self-employment over those from the apprenticeship age bracket, that even though when it rises high, grows undependable.

Similarly, men are more likely to be self-employed than women, and the number who have pursued this option post a university degree is steadily increasing, but the picture is still not that positive because most of them are not that academically qualified as of yet. For the German market specifically, the self-employment rate is quite high for high-skill occupations, higher than it is for United Kingdom, but for eastern European shores these figures spell out into the agriculture and retail domain, which centres on a low-skilled workforce.

Policies directed towards the encouragement of business growth to help lower the recession levels in the country, has been somewhat helpful towards self-employment rates nationally. So, perhaps countries with high unemployment rates, such as Spain, Greece and Italy can pick up on this and contribute to how self-employment can act as a more stable opportunity of employment. Particularly, in Spain, which has the highest youth unemployment rates in the EU, has witnessed a surge in the young trying their luck at self-employment.

Training for self-employed workers is posing as a barrier to self-growth in employment. Advisory services, mentor programmes and guidance for small businesses or other such highly successful entrepreneurial activity is not always in place, structurally for major European economies. This, coupled up with cash inflow to manage their expenses, obtaining insurance, concerns over pensions, often make it challenging to enjoy the greater flexibility that self-employment gives you. Labour market conditions of the present require workers to shed their inhibitions over traditional employment routes and get creative over how to earn employment, and it is not only for those interested in journalism or the creative and performing arts, professionally.

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