Latest findings from LSE x Centre for Economic Performance survey of self-employment during COVID-19

Suzanne AllenBlog & News

The findings of the latest LSE x Centre for Economic Performance survey of self-employment during COVID-19 have been published.

More than a quarter of self-employed workers are struggling to meet basic expenses, as their incomes and profits remain below pre-pandemic levels, with parents and younger self-employed most likely to face financial difficulties. That is the central finding of new research from the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The report “Covid-19 and the self-employed: 18 months into the crisis” – which draws on a new survey of 1,500 people, a representative sample of the self-employed population – reveals that 28 per cent say that they have trouble paying for essentials such as rent and bills. This figure rises to 35 per cent of those respondents who are also parents with dependent children and 38 per cent of self-employed workers aged under 30.

Read the full survey findings here

Kosovo Polje Key findings

  • The economic fortunes of self-employed workers have been hit hard throughout the pandemic. They have seen some improvement since January 2021, although incomes and profits are still notably some way below pre-crisis levels.
  • The findings reveal an unevenness in the experiences of the self-employed and their financial well-being in the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Those self-employed who are parents, women, and younger workers report greater financial difficulties, suggesting that the uneven impacts of the crisis will continue.
  • Whilst the financial well-being of the self-employed has been found to be relatively poor compared with employees during the crisis (see also Yue and Cowling, 2021), these latest results demonstrate diversity within the self-employed. This may be a result of a combination of demographic, sector and scale factors.
  • Overall, the economic fortunes of the self-employed continue their decline eighteen months into the crisis. If you would like to find out more about how Civil Society Involvement can help you, please contact