UK small businesses and entrepreneurs on the rise

The number of Britain’s entrepreneurs, sole traders and SMEs is on the rise while Britain’s biggest companies are reducing the size of their workforces, according to the latest LinkedIn research based on a pool of LinkedIn’s 23 million UK members between April 2016 and April 2017.

Key findings:

  • The UK’s biggest businesses are seeing the largest reductions in the size of their workforces, with very large businesses (10,001+ employees) reducing the number of professionals they employ by 1.9%.

  • The pharmaceutical and healthcare industry is the only sector in the UK to see very large firms bolster hiring, which was up by 1.6% YoY. Every other industry saw numbers of professionals employed fall in very large firms, most notably retail (- 5.6% YoY), and financial services & insurance (- 2.9% YoY).

  • Across all companies there was a decline in support (-4.2%) and administration (-3.9%) roles - a trend that continues from the previous year, and suggests business are reducing non-core functions as they look to adapt to the uncertainties of Brexit.  

  • British workers continue to strike out on their own as entrepreneurs, sole traders, and in small companies, as they had in the prior year. Between April 2016 and April 2017, there was an increase in the number of professionals in entrepreneurship (+6.4%) and consulting (+5.8%) roles in the UK. During the same period there was a rise in the number of sole traders (+13.5%) and companies with 1-10 employees (+4.1%).

  • The sectors experiencing the biggest increases in single person companies are architecture and engineering (+17.9% YoY) and professional services (+16.9% YoY).

  • LinkedIn’s research also reveals that the US is still the most attractive destination for UK talent leaving the country, with America attracting 12.1% of all British professionals departing the UK. Italy remains the biggest contributor of talent to the UK for a second year in a row.

Click here to read more about the research.