The CPS estimates self-employment in agricultural and non-agricultural industries. Self-employment in agricultural industries tends to be a fairly steady metric, regularly accounting for just more than one-third of Oregon's total employment in agricultural industries yet accounting for only a small portion of the total self-employed. In 2009, the most recent year available, there were 22,000 self-employed individuals working in Oregon's agricultural industries.
Self-employment in non-agricultural industries tends to be more volatile, representing swings in the number of self-employed individuals in construction, professional and business services, and other industries. In the past decade, self-employment in Oregon's non-agricultural industries peaked in the year 2007 with 170,000 individuals self-employed (Table 1). Since then, the number of non-agricultural self-employed individuals in Oregon has dropped 12 percent to 149,000 in 2010. The total number of employed people in Oregon has declined only 3 percent during the same period, from 1.84 million in 2007 to 1.78 million in 2010.
In terms of employment, self-employed individuals in Oregon's non-agricultural industries fared worse during the recent recession than wage and salary workers in most industries. In 2010, Oregon's self-employed accounted for a smaller portion of all employment than at any other time in the past five years.
Because annual data for 2011 is not yet available, a 12-month moving average through June of each year can be used to compare more recent trends in self-employment in Oregon and the United States (Table 2). The number of non-agricultural self-employed individuals in Oregon dropped drastically between 2008 and 2009. However, self-employment levels have slowly climbed back over the past two years to 157,000 individuals. Non-agricultural self-employment levels across the nation have continued to decline since 2008.
An indexed 12-month moving average of non-agricultural self-employment levels for Oregon and the United States shows that self-employed workers in Oregon were impacted significantly by the recent recession - more so than their national brethren - a trend that seems to have been present during the recession of 2001 as well (Graph 1). A recent up-tick of self-employment in Oregon may indicate that this group of workers is seeing some recovery but it is too early to tell if this is the beginning of a new long-term trend or just a temporary blip. Regardless, there are 15,000 fewer non-agricultural self-employed individuals in Oregon today than there were before the recent recession.
Estimated Number of Employed and Non-Agricultural Self-Employed,
|Percent Change||Self-employed as Percent of Employed|
|Source: Current Populations Survey (CPS), BLS|
|Estimated Number of Non-Agricultural Self-Employed, 12-Month Moving Average (Thousands)|
|June||Self-Employed||Percent Change||Self-Employed||Percent Change|
|Source: Current Population Survey (CPS), BLS|