Bureau of Labor Statistics

Self-employed women: 1976-2003

April 29, 2004

In 2003, over 38 percent of self-employed persons were women, and about 5.7 percent of employed women were self-employed.

Self-employed women as percent of total self employed, and as percent of total women employed, 1976-2003
[Chart data—TXT]

From 1976 to 2003, the percentage of self-employed persons who were women increased nearly 12 percentage points, from 26.8 percent to 38.6 percent.

Over the same period, the percentage of women who were self-employed (self-employed women as a percentage of all employed women) increased by about 1.3 percentage points.

The data in this report are annual averages from the Current Population Survey. For a wide variety of information on women and work, see BLS Report 973, Women in the Labor Force: A Databook. (Data for 2003 are from Employment & Earnings, January 2004. There is a link to these data on the Current Population Survey homepage: see Characteristics of the Employed, Table 15, Employed persons in agriculture and related and in nonagricultural industries by age, sex, and class of worker.) Note: The comparability of historical labor force data has been affected at various times by methodological and conceptual changes in the Current Population Survey.

Related TED article:


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Self-employed women: 1976-2003 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2004/apr/wk4/art04.htm (visited January 19, 2022).


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