Increase in self-employment shows “older women” are defying recession

An interesting report out published today by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD),  shows how the  recession has affected men and women across the age spectrum and shows a stark rise in self-employment and part-time employment among older women, whom the CPID refers to as the ‘Madonna generation’.

Some of the findings, based on official statistics from the Labour Force Survey, were:-

  • There are 271,000 (8%) more women aged 50-64 in the labour market than at the start of the recession and 200,000 (6.2%) more in work, and
  • Women aged 50-64, and men and women aged 65 and over are the only age groups to have registered an increase in both the number in work and employment rates since the start of the jobs recession and have also registered the smallest increases in unemployment.
  • The relatively stronger employment outcome for women is mainly the result of a substantial rise of 172,000 (16.3%) in the number of women in self-employment. The number of women working full time as employees has fallen by 220,000 (3%), partly offset by a small rise in part-time employment (up 44,000 or 0.9%).

Many of the freelance and self-employed mums in the WYW community are mature mums who have turned to self-employment now that their brood have left the nest, and bring excellent skills to the WYW table – our latest issue for example with 40 ways to to boost your income.

I think we’ll continue to see a steady increase among this particular market for a while yet.

The source press release and report from the CIPD can be accessed via this link.


I’m Mary Cummings, a ghostwriter, collaborator and all round word doctor. I help business owners write and publish business books; I'm also passionate about helping creative freelancers find work that they love - their work sweet spot with work on their terms, projects they love and clients who are a dream to work for.

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