Report: Number of Self-Employed Workers in U.S. on Decline

Biggest hits in agriculture, real estate, child care, and retail trade

(Image: Thinkstock)

According to a new report by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI), the number of self-employed jobs has declined. As of 2013, there were an estimated 10 million self-employed jobs in the U.S. (6.6% of all reported jobs), but this number is a drop from from 2006 (7.2%). Self-employment saw rapid growth from 2001-2006, adding close to 1.8 million new jobs nationwide, the report also indicates.

Self-employed workers are those who are defined by U.S. Census Bureau surveys as people who consider self-employment to be a significant part of their income or time working. Owners of incorporated business are not counted among the self-employed nor are workers who freelance or have other smaller, secondary sources of income.

“The market for self-employment was significantly weakened by the recession. However, as full-time employment in traditional workplaces continues to improve we expect entrepreneurial opportunities to follow suit with time,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. “A rebound in housing will lead to more growth for independently employed construction and real estate workers as well as other occupations in the supply chain. Moreover, many high-paying jobs in IT and consulting have already seen positive self-employment growth in recent years.”

Check out other key findings of the report:

Second & Third Jobs: According to CareerBuilder, 20% of full-time workers picked up a second job in 2013 or plan to do so in 2014. More people are getting second and third jobs, but fewer people are dropping their day jobs altogether to work on their own.

Self-Employment Industries Hit: Biggest declines have come in agriculture, real estate, child care, and retail trade industries.

Self-Employment Industries Booming: Biggest gains have been in landscaping, housekeeping and cleaning, personal care and photography.

Men Rule… Again: Nearly two-thirds of self-employed jobs in the U.S. are occupied by men (62%), and more than 30% of the self-employed are 55 years and older.

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