Demographics of the self-employed

October 22, 2010

In 2009, self-employment rates for older workers continued to be higher than those for younger workers. Among the unincorporated, self-employment rates ranged from 1.6 percent for those aged 16 to 19 years to 18.1 percent for those aged 65 years and older. Among the incorporated, self-employment rates ranged from 0.1 percent for those aged 16 to 19 years to 7.7 percent for those aged 65 years and older.

Self-employment rates, by selected characteristics, 2009 annual averages
[Chart data]

In 2009, unincorporated and incorporated self-employment rates were higher for men than women. Among the unincorporated, 8.3 percent of men were self-employed, compared with 5.6 percent of women. Among the incorporated, 5.4 percent of men were self-employed, compared with 2.3 percent of women.

With regard to educational attainment, in 2009 unincorporated self-employment rates were lowest for individuals with an associate’s degree (6.6 percent) and highest for those with less than a high school diploma (9.9 percent). Among the incorporated, the self-employment rate was highest (6.6 percent) for individuals with advanced degrees—about 3 times the rate for those with less than a high school diploma (2.0 percent).

These data are from the Current Population Survey (CPS). To learn more, see "Self-employment in the United States," (PDF) in the Monthly Labor Review, September 2010 issue.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Demographics of the self-employed on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2010/ted_20101022.htm (visited November 23, 2014).

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