Economic snapshot | Jobs and Unemployment

The state of self-employment

A weekly presentation of downloadable charts and short analyses designed to graphically illustrate important economic issues. Updated every Wednesday.

Snapshot for August 23, 2000

The state of self-employment
Most European governments believe that the United States has a lot to teach their economies about entrepreneurial activity and job creation through small-business development. In fact, the United States has one of the lowest rates of self-employment among the advanced economies.

The chart, which summarizes data from a recent study by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, shows that, in 1998, only 7.0% of civilian, non-agricultural workers in the United States were self-employed. Every other major economy in the OECD group, except Denmark, had a greater share of self-employed workers.

Self-employment rate, 1998

Notes: Figures for Canada and Portugal refer to 1997.
Data source: OECD Employment Outlook, June 2000, Table 5.1, p. 158.

This week’s Snapshot by EPI economist John Schmitt.

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