The Fiscal Times’ Merrill Goozner writes: Whether it’s by preference or an act of desperation by people who’ve gone years without a full-time job, U.S. workers are striking out on their own in greater numbers than ever before.
The number of Americans who consider themselves self-employed reached 22.1 million in 2010, up 414,000 from the previous year, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. That represented 14.4 percent of the civilian labor force, more than two percentage points higher than 2002.
The average pay for self-employed people, however, has fallen sharply because of the Great Recession. The self-employed earned $43,003 in 2010 -- $3,721 less than average self-employment pay in 2006. As opportunities in better-paying fields like construction and real estate evaporated, people moved into fields like health care and social assistance; arts, entertainment and recreation; education; and “other” services like personal care and beauty parlors, all of which pay less than $30,000 a year on average.
“People who have been knocking on doors for two years will turn to something else when there are no payroll jobs in their field,” said Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist ……
Read more at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/08/21/Millions-Now-Stuck-in-the-Rut-of-Self-Employment.aspx#jYclHMXp2lx007zc.99