Top UK cities to be self-employed

by QuickBooks UK

3 min read

Southampton is the best place in the UK to be self-employed, according to the ‘Definitive Study of the Self-Employed,’ commissioned by Intuit QuickBooks, the world’s leading online accounting software. Scoring higher than capital cities, London and Edinburgh, Southampton ranked highest when 5,010 UK self-employed workers were asked about their working hours, financial status, life satisfaction, holiday sacrificed, loans taken out to cover expenses and mean income.

The mean yearly earnings of self-employed workers in Southampton is £39,024 – higher than the UK average of £32,623. At 26 hours per week, Southampton’s self-employed also work two hours less per week than the average self-employed worker. The top benefits for self-employed workers in the city are control over their own schedule (79%), more flexibility to work on their own terms (69%) and being one’s own boss (68%).

Despite notoriously high house prices and cost of living in the South East of England, Southampton, London and Brighton all made the top five. These cities boast the highest self-employed earnings in the country, apart from Liverpool where the self-employed rake in £46,886.

However, the ranking shows that mean income doesn’t necessarily correlate with life satisfaction. In Sheffield, the fifth best place to be self-employed, workers claim to have the highest life satisfaction in work when compared to full-time employment (85%), despite having the third lowest mean income at £24,791.

Making up the top five is Edinburgh, where respondents reported the highest satisfaction with having more freedom (26%), and were the most likely to cite being their own boss as a benefit (75%).

Dominic Allon, Vice President and Managing Director, Intuit Europe, said: “The surge in self-employment has been fuelled by demand for a better quality of life. This ranking will be particularly welcome news to Southampton residents, where the workforce has carved out the best balance to earn more, work less and be happier. There is a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit across the breadth of the UK, and we shouldn’t be held back by where we live. New technologies and platforms are enabling more of us than ever to explore new income streams and dramatically different working habits.”

Top five cities to be self-employed:

Southampton

  • Mean yearly earnings of £39,024
  • 26 hours worked per week
  • 83% say their life satisfaction is the same or better than being a salaried worker
  • 71% say their financial status is the same or better than being a salaried worker

London

  • Mean yearly earnings of £35,779
  • 27 hours worked per week
  • 84% say their life satisfaction is the same or better than being a salaried worker
  • 66% say their financial status is the same or better than being a salaried worker

Edinburgh

  • Mean yearly earnings of £35,285
  • 28 hours worked per week
  • 84% say their life satisfaction is the same or better than being a salaried worker
  • 70% say their financial status is the same or better than being a salaried worker

Brighton

  • Mean yearly earnings of £35,589
  • 27 hours worked per week
  • 81% say their life satisfaction is the same or better than being a salaried worker
  • 65% say their financial status is the same or better than being a salaried worker

Sheffield

  • Mean yearly earnings of £24,791
  • 27 hours worked per week
  • 85% say their life satisfaction is the same or better than being a salaried worker
  • 70% say their financial status is the same or better than being a salaried worker

Allon concluded: “While the advantages of working for yourself have become clear, to truly achieve the life satisfaction and financial security that will reduce stress and define self-employed success, the self-employed must ensure their finances are airtight. Individuals must embrace technology, which has made the operations side of working for yourself faster, cheaper and easier, and in turn, boosted innovation and productivity.”

Sandeep Sesodia, Chair of the Southampton Business Board at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is delighted to learn that in a recent survey Southampton has emerged as the best city to be self-employed. An increasing number of people choose self-employment as a way to improve their work-life balance. The statistics in this report appear to confirm that this improvement is achievable in Southampton.

“For over 140 years The Hampshire Chamber of Commerce has provided support to businesses of all sizes across all sectors through networking events, seminars and training workshops. The Chamber’s strategy is to continue to provide this support and, in a climate of change, to provide certainty and stability to all businesses.”

Intuit QuickBooks has researched a significant number of the self-employed across the UK to understand the individuals behind this rapidly-growing group, including what’s driving them, their working habits and what the future holds for this workforce. This is the fourth in a series of findings released by the company.

For more information about Intuit QuickBooks, visit https://www.quickbooks.co.uk/

 

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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