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The Workforce of Tomorrow

Best Opportunities For Self-employment

Many types of jobs provide opportunities for self-employment. According to Figure 5.19, farmers and ranchers, at 910,000, will be the occupational group with the most self-employed workers in 2014. Managers of retail sales workers, including those who own retail establishments with employees, will comprise the next largest group of self-employed workers in 2014, at 553,000. However, self-employment opportunities are projected to increase during the decade from 2004 to 2014 in a wide range of professions, including lawyers (204,000), accountants (158,000), carpenters (497,000), landscapers (289,000), child care workers (464,000), and hairstylists (310,000).

The twenty occupations listed in Figure 5.19 represent only the largest occupational categories of self-employed workers. In reality, self-employment is an option in nearly every type of occupation. Some workers choose self-employment as a career, while others use it to supplement full-time work or as a temporary source of income during times of layoff or job-hunting. Regardless of the industry or the reason for becoming self-employed, self-employed workers appear to be generally more satisfied with their jobs than those who are employed by either private industry or the government. According to an August 2005 Gallup Poll, 98% of self-employed workers reported that they "liked" (49%) or "loved" (49%) their jobs. As a comparison, private sector employees who liked their jobs (65%) outnumbered those who loved their jobs (22%) almost three-to-one, with 12% declaring that they disliked or hated their jobs. Among government employees, 53% liked their jobs, 42% loved their jobs, and 5% hated their jobs. For more information about business opportunities and self-employment, see Chapter 9, "Business Opportunities."

FIGURE 5.19 Occupations with the most self-employed workers, projected 2014 "Occupatioins with the Most Self-Employed Workers, Projected 2014," in "Occupational Employment," in Occupatioinal Outlook Quarterly, Winter 2005–06, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2005/winter/art02.pdf (accessed February 7, 2006)

Additional topics

Jobs and Career OpportunitiesCareers and Occupations: Looking to the FutureThe Workforce of Tomorrow - Labor Force, Economic Growth, Employment By Industry, Employment By Occupation, Education And Projected Job Growth