The Self-Employed Depression
An increasing number of people followed such calls to the logical end of self-employment in the decade before the recession. Nationally between 1995 and 2005, the number of self-employed independent contractors grew by 27 percent, to almost nine million workers. The category includes freelance workers and consultants — people who tell the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics that they obtain work on their own but don’t own a business like a restaurant or a shop…
…Even in her best years, Feuer was never affluent, but with child support she was able to live what she considered a middle-class life. This year, however, because of the classes and students she has lost, Feuer is on track to make as little as $15,000, a 30 percent drop from the past. But because she is underemployed rather than out of work, she is not eligible for unemployment insurance. She also doesn’t show up in the unemployment statistics.