Entrepreneurship a hallmark of recoveries
For some, it was the opportunity to create new industries necessitated by the pandemic, such as making PPE and masks. Others used the pandemic to reassess what they wanted out of their careers. Others simply had an idea they couldn’t shake or wanted to be their own boss. For these reasons and others, entrepreneurship has increased, to the point that more Americans are self-employed now than in the second quarter of 2019.
While employment for those who are not self-employed is down 4.3% since 2019 Q2, the number of self-employed workers is up 0.9%, according to Pew Research figures. It’s a common result of economic crises and recoveries that people turn to entrepreneurship coming out of the recession. It’s no coincidence that “Shark Tank” came on the airwaves in the midst of the Great Financial Crisis. People seize on the opportunity for a fresh start and to make their own way.
There’s still a way to go toward making it for the newly minted pandemic entrepreneurs, however. When it comes to hiring other people, a sure sign the business is growing and at least on the cusp of success, the numbers lag behind pre-pandemic figures. About 3 million fewer Americans work for someone who is self-employed compared to 2019, the Pew research shows.
Still, “the recovery has been stronger for self-employed workers,” Pew said.
“Self-employment can be a gateway into the business world for the nation’s entrepreneurs. It can also be a desirable option for those wanting to be their own boss or in search of more flexible work hours. Some workers who lose their jobs in business downturns turn to self-employment, which has risen during recessions. In the coronavirus pandemic, it also may have been a useful option for some parents juggling child care and work.
In a wave of resignations that’s been a hallmark of 2021, perhaps people are deciding they’re better off striking it out on their own.