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More People Have Multiple Jobs, But Fewer Are Self-Employed

self-employmentMany U.S. workers were forced to put their dream of working for themselves on hold thanks to the recession, which weakened the market for self-employment.

Between 2001 and 2006 self-employment experienced rapid growth: A whopping 1.8 million new self-employed jobs were added during this period.

However, the number of self-employed jobs around the country has dropped by 936,000 since the start of the recession and hasn’t recovered since, according to a new report by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl.

To put that in context, since self-employment peaked in 2006, the number of self-employed jobs has fallen by 9 percent, BUT the number of jobs for salaried employees has gone up by 4 percent.

quizPop Quiz:
Below you’ll see a list of two groups of industries. One of the groups experienced the most significant gains in self-employment while the other saw the biggest drops. Let’s see if you can figure out which is which. Then scroll all the way to the bottom to find the answers. No cheating!
Personal care aides.
Real estate
Child care
Retail trade

A snapshot of self-employment today

Today there are an estimated 10 million self-employment jobs in the U.S., which amounts to 6.6 percent of all jobs. That percentage has dipped from a high of 7.2 percent back in 2006 prior to the recession.

For the purposes of this report, self-employed workers comprise individuals who consider self-employment a significant part of their income or time working. Folks who we didn’t count in this category include owners of incorporated businesses, freelancers and those who have smaller, secondary sources of income.

Interestingly, more U.S. workers today are landing themselves second and third jobs to supplement their income — 1 in 5 full-time workers either has a second job or plans to get one this year — but fewer workers have taken the leap of giving up their day jobs to work for themselves.

Also, if you break it up demographically, men take up a much larger share (nearly two-thirds) of self-employed jobs compared to women — and nearly 1 in 3 of self-employed individuals are 55 years or older.

Interesting information, huh? You can read the full report here.
Oh, and if you took the quiz, Group 1 experienced the biggest GAINS in self-employment while Group 2 struggled to make self-employment work and saw the biggest declines. Did you get it right?

Deanna Hartley

About Deanna Hartley

Deanna Hartley is a senior copywriter and community manager on the creative services team at CareerBuilder, where she writes about issues that are top of mind for employers and recruiters – including talent acquisition, employee engagement and retention. An avid social media user, Deanna is the face behind @CBforEmployers on Twitter as well as CBforEmployers’ Facebook and Instagram pages, so it’s easy to stay connected with her. Prior to joining CareerBuilder, Deanna was a senior editor for the Human Capital Media Group, publishers of Talent Management, Chief Learning Officer, Diversity Executive and Workforce Management magazines. Deanna holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She loves caffeine, social media, pop culture and dogs – though not necessarily in that order.


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