New trends in female self-employment suggest a positive shift in opportunities for women, especially for those who differ from the “typical” self-employed women of the past. For instance, the percentage of female minorities in self-employment doubled from 1993 to 2012, and more divorced women and women without young children have become self-employed. Earnings trends have also been favorable. Although female business owners still have lower mean earnings compared with other worker groups, between 1993 and 2012 the gender gap in hourly earnings among the self-employed shrank by nearly 20 percentage points for full-time workers and by 17 percentage points for part-time workers.
In addition, several characteristics distinguish self-employed women from their male self-employed counterparts as well as from their female wage and salary2 counterparts. For example, relative to other worker groups, the female self-employed have higher mean levels of education but are in poorer health and more likely to be disabled. Their work schedules are highly variable and, in 2012, 38 percent of them worked part time for noneconomic reasons, compared with 17 percent of self-employed men and a quarter of wage and salary women.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Female self-employment in the United States: an update to 2012 : Monthly Labor Review: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.