There Are More Self-Employed Workers Than Ever—Here’s What That Means For the Economy

The Great Recession acted as a lightening rod for many corporate workers to strike out on their own. Now, the economy is seeing more solopreneurs in 2022 than in the last ten years.

Bloomberg reports that nearly 16.8 million people identified as self-employed in June. This is based on the latest data from the US Department of Labor’s jobs report that was released earlier this month. That’s an uptick of about 1.4 million workers since 2020, making up more than one-third of the labor force’s growth during that period.

There’s a myriad of reasons for why people made significant career shifts over the last few years. Some were forced to try self-employment after millions of jobs were wiped out almost overnight early on in the pandemic. Others made the shift into self-employment voluntary after taking the time to evaluate their professional standing. Approximately 4.3 million workers left over the last few years alone.

Women have made up a large number of those who have taken entrepreneurship on. In the US, for instance an astonishing 17% of Black women are either launching or running new businesses. That’s stood up against just 10% of white women, and 15% of white men.

For women, working for themselves mean more time and autonomy to balance household duties, particularly since data shows women are now more likely to be primary caretakers of their children and heads of household.

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