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Self-employment rise uncounted in jobs data
Chicago Tribune ^ | February 6, 2004 | T. Shawn Taylor Tribune staff reporter

Posted on 02/07/2004 10:12:10 AM PST by Chi-townChief

John Preussner gets paid more as an independent information-technology consultant than he did working at a full-time job.

He has a flexible schedule and gets to meet new people all the time. There's never a dull moment, he said, and that's the problem.

"It's sporadic. I'm always job hunting. There are a lot of people competing for those positions," said Preussner, 55, of Schaumburg, who added he'd rather be on a payroll.

For Preussner and others who've turned to self-employment, the so-called jobless recovery feels more like one big non-stop hustle.

Because businesses burned in the recession remain reluctant to add employees, work-for-hire arrangements have grown in popularity for everyone from Web page designers and graphic artists to recruiters and carpenters.

Statistics show self-employment surged 7 percent since the recession ended in November 2001 through December, to 9.5 million workers. But these people don't show up in another key statistic.

(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: bushrecovery; jobcreation; jobmarket; jobs; selfemployment
"The government said only 1,000 jobs were added in December. But the unemployment rate, which in December fell to 5.7 percent from 5.9 percent, is drawn from an accompanying survey of households, which does count the self-employed."

And yet they tell us that all of these people have just given up.

1 posted on 02/07/2004 10:12:10 AM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief
Depends on how you count. If you are a self-proclaimed consultant, with an office and a business card, but do not currently have any paying clients, are you self-employed or just kidding yourself?
2 posted on 02/07/2004 10:17:02 AM PST by proxy_user
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To: Chi-townChief
The press is in the business of covering bad news. You won't see this story covered on the evening news.
3 posted on 02/07/2004 10:22:39 AM PST by samtheman
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To: proxy_user
are you self-employed or just kidding yourself?

Good point. The government's going to have to come up with some new way to count employment numbers as the current one, while serving us well up until the last couple of years, doesn't easily account for self employed people.

And, like you said, what is "self employed"? Is it one day of work a week (maybe you make 2x your previous salary on that one day)? Also your expenses are much higher in that you have to pay for your own insurance, administrative work, etc.

I think the government should start releasing 1099 tax form information. Perhaps they already do, but it would show the explosion in self-employment better than the current one (which doesn't even show it at all).
4 posted on 02/07/2004 10:28:42 AM PST by lelio
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To: Chi-townChief
For Preussner and others who've turned to self-employment, the so-called jobless recovery feels more like one big non-stop hustle.

Am I missing something, or is this (yet again) blantent media bias. At the beginning of the article it says that this guy is making more money and has better hours. Yet, it's a "hustle". Was he quoted as saying this?

5 posted on 02/07/2004 10:35:58 AM PST by IonInsights
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To: IonInsights
I think they mean hustle in a good way like the verb not the noun but who knows.
6 posted on 02/07/2004 10:39:27 AM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief
When upper-income, middle managers or technically skilled people lose their jobs, they do not sit around on their asses waiting for the government handout or whine about it.

They do what is necessary to earn a living.

Whether that's taking a lesser job or starting their own business, business will be done.

7 posted on 02/07/2004 10:41:13 AM PST by CROSSHIGHWAYMAN (I don't believe anything a Democrat says. Bill Clinton set the standard!)
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To: lelio
The government's going to have to come up with some new way to count employment numbers as the current one...

They already have one. It's called the "Household Survey", where they actually call 60,000 households and ask who is working, who is not.

But the latest "Household Survey" shows that the U.S. has added 2.4 million jobs in the last two years vs. the "Monthly Payroll Figures", which shows that 537,000 jobs have been lost. [Source: Investor's Business Daily 2-6-04 front page]

So guess which set of data the media use during republican administrations?

8 posted on 02/07/2004 11:03:53 AM PST by snopercod (When the people are ready, a master will appear.)
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To: Chi-townChief
My wife spent six months looking for work before giving up and starting her own business, making and selling traditional kilts over the Internet. It's starting small but she is turning a profit.
9 posted on 02/07/2004 11:05:22 AM PST by Keyes2000mt (Wearing the Kilt with Pride)
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To: Keyes2000mt
And probably enjoying what she is doing and staying with the family I imagine. I have been in busienss for 4 years and it has been really tough with it being a buyers market out there for software development but have managed to survive and build a small but loyal clientele and finally starting to turn around. People should get off their butts and stop whining.
10 posted on 02/07/2004 11:44:00 AM PST by futureceo31
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To: CROSSHIGHWAYMAN
"When upper-income, middle managers or technically skilled people lose their jobs, they do not sit around on their asses waiting for the government handout or whine about it.
They do what is necessary to earn a living.

Whether that's taking a lesser job or starting their own business, business will be done.
"

AMEN!! That's what I had to do. My worst month at consulting for a living in IT since April of '03 was the equivalent of someone making $8.90 an hour for a full month even though I worked maybe 16 or 17 hours. Granted that still sucks but it paid the bills. I don't know about this guy but I was spending $13k a year in daycare alone and even though I made about ten grand less than what I would have (had I not lost my job), I didn't have to pay $13k in day care either.

Heck I only had three buisness clients and a handfull of private individuals and made that much money. It's scarey some days because I feel like I am retired and I'm only 30!
I still want a full time job too but not if I don't have too. Business is picking up too just on word of mouth alone! I thank God that I had the opportunities to make the money that paid the bills and don't morn that job loss that's for sure.
11 posted on 02/07/2004 11:57:59 AM PST by AppauledAtAppeasementConservat (An educated fool, in the end, is still a fool.)
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To: futureceo31
She's a lot happier since she gave up looking for work a month ago.
12 posted on 02/07/2004 2:10:18 PM PST by Keyes2000mt (Wearing the Kilt with Pride)
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To: Chi-townChief
This is comparing apples to oranges. If self-employed people were never counted before, it is not valid to count
them now.
13 posted on 02/07/2004 5:15:02 PM PST by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
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To: upcountryhorseman
Correct but not the point.
14 posted on 02/07/2004 5:42:58 PM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: snopercod
So guess which set of data the media use during republican administrations?

Uh, the one they've used since the dawn of time. This isn't a media-bias problem, it's an illegals-taking-all-the-jobs problem.

15 posted on 02/07/2004 5:46:36 PM PST by 537 Votes
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To: upcountryhorseman

Also, all the hundreds of thousands who ran out of unemployment benefits in Dec. when the federal emergency unemployment benefits expired are not counted in this number. If they were, the percentage of unemployed would have gone up, not down.
16 posted on 02/07/2004 5:47:11 PM PST by kittymyrib
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To: CROSSHIGHWAYMAN
Amen, brother. It is a crime what I earn - and if it came to an abrubt end tomorrow, I would be a plumber. They make more, anyway.
17 posted on 02/07/2004 5:54:09 PM PST by patton (I wish we could all look at the evil of abortion with the pure, honest heart of a child.)
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To: Chi-townChief
Is the Republican campaign slogan going to be "Employ Yourself"? I have trouble seeing how Bush and the rest are going say "look at all the jobs we created" when people are out there creating their own jobs. It is strange how we Republicans like to talk about economies of scale on one hand, yet we promote just the opposite when our open borders / unilateral free trade policy mortgages middle class America.
18 posted on 02/07/2004 8:06:10 PM PST by sixmil
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To: sixmil
No - they don't "create" any jobs. The supply side theory is to free capital for the people to create jobs. Trade is another problem that's been around for the last forty-five years or so and there is no quick fix. People are too happy buying cheap stuff from Chinese sweat shops to stop now.
19 posted on 02/07/2004 8:47:35 PM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: Pan_Yan
ping
20 posted on 02/07/2004 8:48:39 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: 537 Votes
I wish I could post the entire IBD article, but the gist of it was that a couple million "enemployed" are really working...off the books, that is.

The gringos who lost their jobs have learned a lot from la raza. A lot of them have found out that one can get along just fine doing "odd jobs" and not paying taxes.

21 posted on 02/08/2004 4:07:43 AM PST by snopercod (When the people are ready, a master will appear.)
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To: Chi-townChief; proxy_user; lelio; IonInsights; CROSSHIGHWAYMAN; snopercod; Keyes2000mt; ...
One thing has always baffled me about the employment figures. Whenever they come out you see a liberal on TV, a tear glistening in the corner of his/her eye, explaining about the thousands of unemployed who 'just gave up' last month.

How exactly do you give up? Does that mean you gave up and got a job or you really didn't need a job to begin with? Are the jobs out there beneath you?

I work in maintenance. Since I left Uncle Sam's Canoe Club I have gone from a diaper factory, to a circuit board manufacturer, to a class 'A' commercial office building. Maintenance is not glamourous, but even with ten percent unemployment there will still be maintenance jobs listed in the paper.

I understand about pay cuts and working outside your field, but the dern' rugrats keep on eating. If that means I'm delivering newspapers in the morning, serving burgers through the drive through at lunch and handing out cigarettes at the gas station all night so be it.

I kind of wish the government would stop wasting my money on tracking all these statistics that serve no purpose other than Washington hair pulling and eye gouging.
22 posted on 02/08/2004 6:37:20 AM PST by Pan_Yan (This rant provided as a public service.)
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To: Pan_Yan
I understand about pay cuts and working outside your field, but the dern' rugrats keep on eating.

I would add that there are examples where someone loses a job that they love. And they are disappointed, but then, they CREATE an opportunity for better employment, end up working in a slightly different field, and are thrilled with the way things end up.

If your only goal is paying the bills, there are many jobs out there... but, there are wives whose husbands work terrible hours or crazy schedules or travel a great deal, and they would REJOICE if the husband ended up being a mailman, home every night. A job is a job. It shouldn't be your life, and sometimes things happen for a reason.

23 posted on 02/08/2004 8:41:18 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'--- Kahlil Gibran)
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To: Pan_Yan
How exactly do you give up?

Easy. When you contact every single employer within a 50 mile radius of your home and none of them will hire you, then you stop looking to be hired by somebody else.

24 posted on 02/08/2004 8:49:46 AM PST by snopercod (When the people are ready, a master will appear.)
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To: Chi-townChief
"The government said only 1,000 jobs were added in December"


the writer is ignorant, this article appeared after the BLS revised the Dec payroll jobs number up to 16,000.
25 posted on 02/08/2004 8:55:01 AM PST by raloxk
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To: Pan_Yan; All
I understand about pay cuts and working outside your field, but the dern' rugrats keep on eating. If that means I'm delivering newspapers in the morning, serving burgers through the drive through at lunch and handing out cigarettes at the gas station all night so be it.

I kind of wish the government would stop wasting my money on tracking all these statistics that serve no purpose other than Washington hair pulling and eye gouging.

If the Government stopped, the Political Parties would have to start.

You may be different, but most people would prefer a high paying job, with BENEFITS, just like they had before...they had to scramble 2 or 3 "jobs" to feed the Rugrats.

Under Herbert Hoover, the 25% [actually 33%] unemployed accepted "off the Books" day labor, or selling Apples on Wall Street, but it didn't take official statistics for most to know that the answer to "Are you better off than four years ago" was NO!!!

Dubya has until "Super Tuesday" to turn it around. Thereafter nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will help.

All the dirt thrown at Clinton did nothing to stop him.

Not all the Kerry BOTOX in the world, not the list of K Street Quid Pro Quos, NOTHING will stop an Electorate from "throwing the Bums Out!!"

That is why Bush is doing the "Tim Russert" thing today...his handlers know that Dubya's room for maneovere is rapidly coming to a close.

26 posted on 02/08/2004 8:58:20 AM PST by Lael (Offshore Outsourcing will be solved politically...the process for CEO's will "end badly" !!)
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To: Lael
I've changed jobs three times because I want higher pay and most benefits. (I make almost double what I did five years ago.) My only point was that if I was out of work tomorrow I would have another job by Friday. I'm not quitting my good job in favor of three bad ones.

You will never convince me that there is a reason to be out of work for three months. I would hire the bottlewasher who comes in for an interview before his night job than the PHD who has been sitting at home for ninety days.

Call me pig headed, but my family will always be fed by my efforts. For the theoretical 5.7% out there: While you are standing in the unemployment line waiting for a handout, there are millions of others getting the jobs your not willing to do.


If the Government stopped, the Political Parties would have to start.
Good. Thats not my money.
27 posted on 02/08/2004 9:47:02 AM PST by Pan_Yan (This rant provided as a public service.)
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To: Pan_Yan; Lael
Damn the "benefits" and the nanny-babies who need them! They cost the rest of us dearly -- that is the bypass of market accountabiliy in health care costs alone is the greatest factor in out-of-control prices and lousy delivery, and that combined with the nanny-babies entitlement mindset allows and fosters the growth of bureaucracy and government in every aspect of day-do-day life.

Damn the BENEFIT-seeking nanny-babies!

28 posted on 02/08/2004 9:55:23 AM PST by bvw
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To: snopercod
When it became clear that my last employer was going down hill, I got a job 56 miles from my house, on the other side of Atlanta. I am now in a building 50 miles from my front door. I make a lot more money, and when I ride the train to work I study for my college classes. Once we get a little more equity built up in the house we will move closer to the job!

I understand some people are not as willing to move for a job, but that is why some areas have high unemployment and others don't. The people that want to work will go to the work. Since I left Montana for the Navy I have lived in seven states. I don't expect everyone to do that.

I just don't understand how you 'give up'. Who pays the rent? Who buys the food? I would be too ashamed to hand the lady at the grocery store food stamps or the teller at the bank a welfare check. I would go find a job first, whether it was in Florida or Alaska.
29 posted on 02/08/2004 10:01:30 AM PST by Pan_Yan (Unemployed people should forfeit their right to vote.)
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To: Pan_Yan; All
I've changed jobs three times because I want higher pay and most benefits. (I make almost double what I did five years ago.) My only point was that if I was out of work tomorrow I would have another job by Friday. I'm not quitting my good job in favor of three bad ones.

I'm sorry if I failed to communicate the gist of my remarks.

The widely quoted 25% Depression Era figure was disproved when, using those methods, unemployment actually went Negative in 1941. A better estimate is 33%.

Part of the problem dealing with the Depression was a consistent lack of statistical reporting, which both Political Parties vowed to correct...under the Interstate Commerce and the Census Clauses of the Constitution.

Now, I am glad that you don't fit into the 2 or 3 jobs to feed the 'rugrats' [your term], but far too many do.

And yes, as "Partners in Power: The Clintons and Their America", and "The Judas Economy"...both published in the mid-1990's, these trends started with Clinton.

But to hang Dubya's election prospects on that is rather thin gruel.

P.S....It seems that President Bush acquitted himself well today with Tim Russert...in any event, the Electorate's mind will be made up no later than March...and I DO so hope we keep the Senate and House!

30 posted on 02/08/2004 10:13:36 AM PST by Lael (Offshore Outsourcing will be solved politically...the process for CEO's will "end badly" !!)
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To: 537 Votes; All
...it's an illegals-taking-all-the-jobs problem.

I fully believe that the purpose of the Army is to defend the physical borders of the United States and that they should be used as the biggest application of Plumber's Putty in history. However, I don't think that the computer programmer who's still waiting to get his 250K salary back is going to walk right into Jose's job smoothing out the concrete in the new parking lot.

If you kicked 11 million illegals out tomorrow, you would still have at least three percent unemployment next week. Some people cannot / will not work, and no amount of opportunity will make them.

There are people who are legitimately, temporarily unemployed. They can afford to wait a finite amount of time for a compatable job to come along. More power to them. But Hector the day laborer who sweats his a@@ off outside all day for $75 is not keeping an unemployed textile worker from changing vocations. The textile jobs aren't coming back. Get over it.
31 posted on 02/08/2004 10:23:54 AM PST by Pan_Yan (Unemployed people should forfeit their right to vote.)
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To: Lael
I think the reason Bush seems to be doing so poorly in the daily pooh-pooh polls is that for three months all we have heard is Dems bashing the President. Karl Rove is still polishing the shotgun and counting shells. I'm pretty sure that as soon as a well coiffed hair-do sticks up over the rim of the DNC primary mosh pit, Karl will calmly take aim and blow it off. The race isn't over in March, it will barely have begun by then.
32 posted on 02/08/2004 10:37:35 AM PST by Pan_Yan (I think the first Mars colony should have 535 members.)
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To: proxy_user
but do not currently have any paying clients, are you self-employed or just kidding yourself?

You've got to get out there and hustle. It gives people an idea of just what their old bosses had to go through just to keep them employed. The advantage is, when you work you can make enough to carry you through those periods when you don't have clients. You just have to adjust your lifestyle to where you always have enough money to cover you for 6 months. It's tough while you're getting there, but things normalize after that.

33 posted on 02/08/2004 10:56:10 AM PST by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing!)
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To: Pan_Yan
"I kind of wish the government would stop wasting my money on tracking all these statistics that serve no purpose other than Washington hair pulling and eye gouging."

You and me both. I kinda just wish they would stop wasting our tax money period.
34 posted on 02/08/2004 10:07:50 PM PST by AppauledAtAppeasementConservat (An educated fool, in the end, is still a fool.)
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To: Cacique
ping
35 posted on 02/08/2004 10:09:55 PM PST by nutmeg (Tick off a terrorist - Vote for George W. Bush!)
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To: upcountryhorseman
Your point "If self-employed people were never counted before, it is not valid to count them now." certainly has some validity. However, I don't think it is completely the case that it is proper to ignore the other job indicators. With the growth of the internet and personal marketing campaigns there are a great deal of new type jobs. It is my impression that a huge amount of the high-profit economy now is moving toward smaller employers, and individual employment. I've several friends who have left companies, bought milling machines and lathes, and are manufacturing items themselves. Certainly, you and I both know many who do computer jobs at home, and those are not low-paying. These ways are not how most high value-added production was done in the past, and it may well be time for us to reflect the new paradigm in a different type of statistic. Perhaps the 'old' employment numbers ought to be quoted as "large company employment" and the "household employment" numbers ought to be quoted alongside the old. These, in addition to the "traditional 5.6% unemployment" figures give a more accurate picture of the true state of the economy and in addition, how it is evolving over time.
36 posted on 02/10/2004 8:53:10 AM PST by AFPhys (((PRAYING for: President Bush & advisors, troops & families, Americans)))
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To: AFPhys
Yes, I like the idea of having a separate category such
as "self-employed, under $100,000".
37 posted on 02/11/2004 8:26:53 AM PST by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
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