From the National Dialogue on Entrepreneurship:
New Census Bureau figures confirm what many experts have long suspected. The US is in the midst of a major boom in self-employment.
2004 data show that 19.5 million Americans are self-employed, and their numbers are growing. Between 2003 and 2004, the number of self-employed grew by 1 million (about 4.7%). Overall, these businesses without employees account for 70% of all US businesses and generate annual receipts exceeding $887 billion.
E-Bay is clearly having an impact as electronic shopping and mail order houses are among the fastest growing sectors (up 12.7%) for new self-employment ventures. Even faster growth can be found among building finishing contractors (up 22.5%), Internet service providers (up 18.7%) and nail salons (up 14.7%).
The July 2006 U.S. Census Bureau report, Nonemployer Statistics 2004, can be accessed at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/ns0400a01.pdf.