Scaling Self-Employment

SE Trends

Self-employment was more than 25% of wage and salary employment in 2009. Pre-2000, self-employment grew at an average of 1.4% a year; post-2000, self-employment grew at an average of 3.5% a year (see graph).

  • According to The State of Independence, there is a “conscious structural shift and recognition of a new model of work and engagement” and that is toward self-employment. The number of independent workers grew from 16 million in 2011 to 16.9 million in 2012. Self-employment is a labor market trend.
  • Joel Kotkin writes in Rise of the 1099 Economy that the number of people who primarily work on their own has swelled by 1.3 million since 2001.
  • We used to call it “Free Agent Nation.” Now, it seems like the new term of art will be “The 1099 Economy.” While the names may change, they all point to a phenomenon of rising importance: the growing number of Americans who don’t have a “regular job” but instead work on individual contracts with employers or customers – From Living and Working in the a 1099 Economy by Erik Pages.
  • According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses create 64 percent of all new U.S. jobs.

Recognizing this trend and knowing that traditional methods of economic development aren’t creating the jobs we need to have an economic recovery that includes job growth, CAMEO is working to promote self-employment as a job creation strategy that works for cities and states.

Projects in 2013
-Bring a Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program to California.
-Incorporate self-employment into the Workforce system by encouraging member to work with WIBs.
-Grow microlending through economies of scale and lower costs.