28 August 2005

The Graying Entrepreneurial Movement

Posted by Jameson Penn
Unpublished government data show that the number of Americans 55 and older categorized as self-employed in non-agricultural industries has increased 22 percent from 2,136,000 in May, 2000 to 2,598,000 as of May, 2005. These senior entrepreneurs now represent nearly 27 percent of all self-employed workers, which is second only to 45- to 54-year-olds who make up more than 27 percent of the self-employed.
While self-employment was expanding among those 55 and up, it was falling for almost every other age group. The biggest group of self-employed workers in 2000 was the 35- to 44-year-old cohort, which numbered 2,703,000. Their numbers have fallen 10 percent to 2,422,000. Self-employment has also dropped, by about two percent, among 25- to 34-year-olds.
Americans are retiring earlier than ever before and are now taking up second or third careers in their later years. This is an interesting development, given that the entrepreneurial spirit is typically identified in youthful and risky investments.


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