Foreign-Born Blacks More Likely to Be Self-Employed Than U.S.-Born Blacks

Foreign-Born Blacks More Likely to Be Self-Employed Than U.S.-Born Blacks

Ten percent of Americans are self-employed, according to a recent Pew Research Center study, and self-employed Americans and their employees accounted for 44 million jobs in 2014 (30% of the national workforce.)

Among the self-employed, more telling numbers came from their research when broken down by ethnicity, race and origin. Immigrants were more likely to be self-employed than professionals born in America—if by just a small margin—at 11% compared with 10% respectively. Black immigrants accounted for 7% of self-employed professionals, compared with 5% of U.S.-born blacks.

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Hispanic immigrants were almost twice as likely to be self-employed, at 11 percent, compared to 6 percent for American-born Hispanics. The research also found that Caucasian immigrants, at 17%, were also much more likely to be self-employed, compared with American-born Caucasians at 11%. Eleven percent of Asian-American immigrants were self-employed compared with 7% of American-born Asians.

There were also gender gaps, with men being nearly twice as likely as women to be self-employed in 2014, at 12% compared with 7%.

Pew Center research also found that the overall share of American workers who are self-employed has decreased, from 12.2% in 1994 to 10% in 2014, however there has been an increase in incorporated businesses, with the share of workers who are self-employed and have incorporated businesses rising from 2.9% in 1990 to 3.7% in 2014. There has been a decrease in the number of self-employed entrepreneurs who provide jobs for others. Among unincorporated self-employed workers, 21% said they had at least one paid employee in 1995, compared with 13% in 2014, and 41% of those who own incorporated businesses said they had paid employees in 2014, down from about 60% in 2001.