Our friend Joel Kotkin published some interesting findings on NewGeography and Forbes using our latest dataset on the self-employed. There he cites some of our original research which suggests that from 2001 to 2012, the self-employed grew by 14.4%. He also brings up a few important points on exactly what is driving more people to become self-employed:
This rise is partially reflective of hard times, and many of the self-employed earn only modest livings in fields such as childcare and construction. However the shift to self-employment is likely to accelerate in the future, and into higher-paying professions, for reasons including the ubiquity of the Internet, which makes it easier for some types of business to use independent contractors, as well as the reluctance of large firms to hire full-time employees with benefits.
Joel also found that there are four large cities that really stand out (based on growth of 10% or more) when it comes to self-employment: Houston, Seattle, Riverside, and Phoenix. The interesting thing to note here is that Houston and Seattle have actually done quite well in recent times, while Riverside and Phoenix have struggled. Certainly worth a bit more research. For now, we will let you read Joel’s take.
Here is a look at the overall growth trends for self-employment in the top 30 metro areas:
|Rank||Region||Growth in Self-employed, 2008-2011|
|1||Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX||12.20%|
|2||Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||11.80%|
|6||San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||8.10%|
|7||Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||6.50%|
|8||Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||6.30%|
|10||Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL||4.90%|
|12||New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA||4.60%|
|14||San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA||4.20%|
|16||Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA||4.10%|
|17||San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA||4.10%|
|25||St. Louis, MO-IL||0.30%|
|26||Las Vegas-Paradise, NV||0.30%|
|27||Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI||0.20%|
|28||Kansas City, MO-KS||-0.70%|
|30||Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA||-6.50%|
Besides the four cities that we mentioned, Atlanta, Chicago, and Kansas City are the only cities on the list to experience overall decline.