The fastest growing jobs sector for young adults is now self-employment

If you’re a young adult who’s responded to the weak labor market by creating your own job, you’re not alone.

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show individuals defined as “self-employed, unincorporated, and unpaid family workers” grew faster than any other between July 2014 and July 2015, at 8%, representing 349,000 workers.

Government jobs and leisure and hospitality were next up at 7% growth.

The BLS does not track this exact category on a nationwide basis for all workers, so it’s difficult to compare whether young adults are employing themselves at a faster rate than everyone else.

But the absence of that data, as well as the growth itself in self-employed workers adds further evidence to two initial findings by Harvard’s Larry Katz and Princeton’s Alan Krueger about changes in the labor force: that the number of people in the “gig economy” is growing, and that we need more information to show its true extent.

Total employment across all industries for 16-24 year-olds climbed just 1% during the tracking period

Posted: Thu 20 Aug 2015
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