Foreign-Born Blacks More Likely to Be Self-Employed Than U.S.-Born Blacks
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

Ten percent of Americans are self-employed, according to a recent Pew Research Center study, and self-employed Americans and their employees accounted for 44 million jobs in 2014 (30% of the national workforce.)

Among the self-employed, more telling numbers came from their research when broken down by ethnicity, race and origin. Immigrants were more likely to be self-employed than professionals born in America—if by just a small margin—at 11% compared with 10% respectively. Black immigrants accounted for 7% of self-employed professionals, compared with 5% of U.S.-born blacks.

[RELATED: 4 Crucial Factors for Successful Self-Employment]

Hispanic immigrants were almost twice as likely to be self-employed, at 11 percent, compared to 6 percent for American-born Hispanics. The research also found that Caucasian immigrants, at 17%, were also much more likely to be self-employed, compared with American-born Caucasians at 11%. Eleven percent of Asian-American immigrants were self-employed compared with 7% of American-born Asians.

There were also gender gaps, with men being nearly twice as likely as women to be self-employed in 2014, at 12% compared with 7%.

Pew Center research also found that the overall share of American workers who are self-employed has decreased, from 12.2% in 1994 to 10% in 2014, however there has been an increase in incorporated businesses, with the share of workers who are self-employed and have incorporated businesses rising from 2.9% in 1990 to 3.7% in 2014. There has been a decrease in the number of self-employed entrepreneurs who provide jobs for others. Among unincorporated self-employed workers, 21% said they had at least one paid employee in 1995, compared with 13% in 2014, and 41% of those who own incorporated businesses said they had paid employees in 2014, down from about 60% in 2001.

Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.