You have probably heard about the wager between Jonathan Portes and Andrew Lilico about how much inflation will rise with economic growth. Not to be outdone, Ben Dellot and I have had a bet about the rise in self-employment and the fall in public sector jobs.
Ben reckons the self-employed will outnumber public sector workers by the middle of 2017.
I think he’s wrong for two reasons; the rate of increase in self-employment will slow down as the economy picks up and the government won’t deliver all its planned public sector cuts.
Ben still thinks he’s right, though, and has agreed to take my bet.
Records don’t go back far enough to be able to tell when the self-employed last outnumbered workers in the public sector but it was probably well before most of us can remember. If Ben turns out to be right, it will be a significant social and economic shift.
Neither of us are high rollers so our wager is for slightly less than £1,000. It is, however, index linked. Two pints of beer are at stake as the dice roll on the future of the British labour market.