Number of self-employed in US surpasses pre-pandemic level

Self-employment numbers have surpassed where they were in 2019, a sign of entrepreneurial resilience but also a sign of how hard the pandemic was on the American workforce.

Around 14.8 million people identified as self-employed during the second quarter of 2019, Inc. reports. That number dropped to 12.7 million in 2020 but returned to 14.9 million during the second quarter of this year, and the number now sits at about 16 million. 

Employment levels of those who are not self-employed sat at around 131 million during the second quarter of 2021, still 4.3% less than where the workforce was in 2019.

Many people are self-employed today because their workplaces closed or laid them off, says Keith Hall, president and CEO of the National Association for the Self-Employed.

However, self-employed businesses do not produce many jobs, which could lead to a lack of available employment opportunities and cause slowing of economic growth. Read the full story.