An extra 35,000 workers in the West Midlands are now self-employed compared with the start of the financial crisis.

Some 131,300 workers in the West Midlands were self-employed in 2015/16, analysis by the Birmingham Post of labour figures has shown.

In 2007/08, this figure was 96,300 across the region. That year was the beginning of the financial crisis and recession that followed.

Solihull and Walsall had the highest levels of people working for themselves in the West Midlands at 9.6 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively while the figure for Birmingham itself was slightly lower at 7.6 per cent.

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Most parts of the West Midlands had higher rates of people working for themselves than they did in 2007/08.

However, in Dudley and Sandwell the figures went backwards slightly in this time.

West Somerset had the highest self-employment rate in the country at 27.6 per cent.

Other rural parts of Britain also tended to have very high self-employment rates with Ryedale in North Yorkshire and Chichester in Sussex also featuring in the top ten.

Camden had the highest self-employment rate of any completely urbanised part of the country, with 17.4 per cent of working people in the north London borough self-employed.


Local Authority; Percentage of people self-employed

Birmingham; 7.6 per cent

Coventry; 6.9 per cent

Dudley; 8 per cent

Sandwell; 4.5 per cent

Solihull; 9.6 per cent

Walsall; 7.8 per cent

Wolverhampton; 7.7 per cent