Self-employment on the decline in the U.S.

Self Employment

While the U.S. has always been a nation of entrepreneurs, the number of Americans choosing to work for themselves has been steadily declining in recent history.

According to a study from the Pew Research Center, self-employed professionals and the staff they hired were responsible for 44 million jobs – 30 percent of the U.S. workforce – in 2014. Of this demographic, 14.6 million, or 10 percent, of people were truly self-employed, while 29.4 million people worked for self-employed professionals.

These figures were notably different from data collected 20 years earlier. The report revealed that in 1994, 12.2 percent of Americans were worked for themselves. Additionally, fewer entrepreneurs had incorporated businesses in the early 1990s than they do today. In 1990, 2.9 percent of companies were incorporated, while this number hit 3.7 percent in 2014. The number of people working for unincorporated organizations fell from 8.5 percent to 6.3 percent.

MarketWatch noted that while the U.S. used to be a global leader in entrepreneurship, the nation has since fallen behind in this area. The source pointed out that the U.S. has fallen to the No.12 spot in terms of how many residents are self-employed. New Zealand, Sweden, Israel, Italy, Denmark, Hungary and Finland all currently boast higher rates of entrepreneurs.