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The Self-employed Continue To Suffer Quietly In the Great Recession

I'm reading data from the new 2009 Census Bureau Community Survey, and it's kind of depressing. Here are just things that happened between 2008 and 2009:

* Real median household income in the United States dropped about 3% to $50,221.

* The number of people in poverty increased in 31 states.

* The median property value decreased 5.8%.

* 2 in 5 home renters paid 35% or more of their incomes to rent.

* The percentage of uninsured increased by 2.2 million people.

* Work hours fell in 46 of the 50 most populous U.S. metro areas.

* Self-employed people suffered the biggest drop in work hours, losing more work hours than any other type of worker.

It's good to see the plight of the self-employed mentioned here, because it's been under-reported. After all, self-employed workers don't receive unemployment benefits and technically speaking they're not unemployed as much as "under-worked" and "short of projects." Every self-employed person I know is under-worked right now and the savvy ones are avoiding low-paying projects on which they would lose money after factoring in overhead costs. Some freelancers have put away their shingles until things improve. It's a big problem. Anyway, props to the U.S. Census for mentioning the self-employed.

Click here for the entire rundown.


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