The number of SMEs, entrepreneurs and sole traders is on the rise as large companies cut the size of their workforces, according to new figures.
Research by LinkedIn found that businesses with more than 10,000 employees reduced the number of staff they employ by 1.9 per cent between April 2016 and April 2017.
Notably, the number of support roles dropped by 4.2 per cent and the number of administration roles fell by 3.9 per cent over the course of the year.
The retail and financial services industries were the worst affected, with the number of employees falling by 5.6 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively year-on-year.
But the same period saw a surge in the number of entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The overall number of British employees in entrepreneurial roles rose by 6.4 per cent, while the number doing consulting jobs was up by 5.8 per cent.
Meanwhile, the number of sole traders was up 13.5 per cent and the number of companies with between one and ten employees rose by 4.1 per cent.
“The UK is experiencing record employment levels, despite our research showing that large British businesses are reducing the number of people they employ,” said Josh Graff, UK country manager and EMEA vice president at LinkedIn.
“This is, in part, due to the healthy number of emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses in the UK, and the employment opportunities they create.
“Our findings should give confidence to professionals who are thinking about taking the leap and striking out on their own.
“Our research should also be of interest to the UK government, who will need to put the health of SMEs and sole traders at the top of their agenda as they prepare their strategy for Britain’s economy after Brexit.’’
SME Magazine recently reported that consumers believe entrepreneurs and small businesses will be the champions of the post-Brexit UK economy.