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Work Shift

More Americans Are Self-Employed Than You Think

  • Independent contractors estimated at 15% of all workers: paper
  • New study finds many more than expected have side jobs
Virus Pandemic Creates Work From Home Culture
Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg

Millions more Americans may be self-employed than previously estimated, a research paper found, and these workers are more likely to be minorities and younger. 

The share of independent contractors in the labor force may be about 15% of all workers, according to the study. That’s roughly twice the typical 7% estimate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.