Self-Employment Up Sharply For Women, Blacks, And Latinos

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Self-employment rates for women, blacks, and Latinos have risen sharply since 1979, according to a study released this week by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

During the period, self-employment rates increased across ethnic groups and gender, with an overall increase of more than five percent.

“Self-employment is a critical part of our economy,” said Thomas M. Sullivan, Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “Self-employment provides the main source of income for a diverse group of over 12 million Americans. The increase in self-employment rates for women, blacks, and Latinos show that small business ownership can move minorities and women further into our economic mainstream.”

“This study provides definitive evidence for the growth trend we've seen in entrepreneurship over the years,” said Robert Hughes, president of the National Association for the Self-Employed. “Particularly strong among women, blacks and Latinos, these numbers help to better quantify the appeal of self-employment and the impact this segment of the small business population has on the economy.”

The report delves into the data behind published figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Unlike BLS figures, this report includes incorporated as well as unincorporated self-employed. The study found that over the period studied the self-employment rate increased 33 percent for women, 37 percent for blacks, and 15 percent for Latinos. The white rate increased ten percent while the male rate increased two and a half percent.

The Office of Advocacy, the “small business watchdog” of the government, examines the role and status of small business in the economy and independently represents the views of small business to federal agencies, Congress, and the President. It is the source for small business statistics presented in user-friendly formats and it funds research into small business issues.

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