Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reveals that there were 4.2 million homeworkers in the first three months of this year or 13.9% of those in work. This is the highest rate of homeworking since comparable records began in 1998.
The number of homeworkers has grown by 1.3 million since 1998. However over the same period the number of people in work has also been rising. The percentage of those in work who work from home (also known as the home working rate) increased from 11.1% in 1998 to stand at a rate of 13.9% at the end of March which is the highest than at any point in the past 15 years
ONS's report says that the jobs that homeworkers carry out tend to be concentrated in higher skilled roles than those of people who do not work from home. Of the 4.2 million homeworkers in 2014, 14.8% were working as managers or senior officials, 35.2% were professionals or associate professionals and a further 23.5% were working within skilled trades.
Earnings for homeworkers reflect this concentration in high-skill roles, the median being £13.23 an hour compared with £10.50 an hour for other workers. The most common roles for male homeworkers were among construction occupations, while for women the top roles included childminding and care work.
People working from home are more likely to be self-employed than non-homeworkers. In January to March 2014, around 7% of non-homeworkers were self-employed compared with 63% of homeworkers. Around 34% of home workers were employees of an organisation, with the small remainder being people who worked unpaid in the family business.
Working from home is more prevalent among people who are older. For those aged 16 to 24 the homeworking rate stood at 5.1%, compared with 13.9% for all workers, while for those aged 65 and over, it was 38.3%.
Across 2013 as a whole, the South West was the region of Great Britain with the highest home working rate at 17.1%, while the lowest rate was in Scotland at 10.7%. As at the 2011 Census, the local area with the highest home working rate across England and Wales was West Somerset, at 25.7%, while the lowest was Kingston upon Hull, at 5.2%.
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