Self-employed, total (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate) - North America
Definition: Self-employed workers are those workers who, working on their own account or with one or a few partners or in cooperative, hold the type of jobs defined as a "self-employment jobs." i.e. jobs where the remuneration is directly dependent upon the profits derived from the goods and services produced. Self-employed workers include four sub-categories of employers, own-account workers, members of producers' cooperatives, and contributing family workers.
Description: The map below shows how Self-employed, total (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate) varies by country in North America. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the region is Mexico, with a value of 31.32. The country with the lowest value in the region is United States, with a value of 6.17.
Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database. Data retrieved in September 2019.
Development Relevance: Breaking down employment information by status in employment provides a statistical basis for describing workers' behaviour and conditions of work, and for defining an individual's socio-economic group. A high proportion of wage and salaried workers in a country can signify advanced economic development. If the proportion of own-account workers (self-employed without hired employees) is sizeable, it may be an indication of a large agriculture sector and low growth in the formal economy. A high proportion of contributing family workers — generally unpaid, although compensation might come indirectly in the form of family income — may indicate weak development, little job growth, and often a large rural economy. Each status group faces different economic risks, and contributing family workers and own-account workers are the most vulnerable - and therefore the most likely to fall into poverty. They are the least likely to have formal work arrangements, are the least likely to have social protection and safety nets to guard against economic shocks, and often are incapable of generating sufficient savings to offset these shocks.
Limitations and Exceptions: Data are drawn from labor force surveys and household surveys, supplemented by official estimates and censuses for a small group of countries. Due to differences in definitions and coverage across countries, there are limitations for comparing data across countries and over time even within a country. Estimates of women in employment are not comparable internationally, reflecting that demographic, social, legal, and cultural trends and norms determine whether women's activities are regarded as economic.
Statistical Concept and Methodology: The indicator of status in employment distinguishes between two categories of the total employed. These are: (a) wage and salaried workers (also known as employees); and (b) self-employed workers. Self-employed group is broken down in the subcategories: self-employed workers with employees (employers), self-employed workers without employees (own-account workers), members of producers' cooperatives and contributing family workers (also known as unpaid family workers). Vulnerable employment refers to the sum of contributing family workers and own-account workers. The series is part of the ILO estimates and is harmonized to ensure comparability across countries and over time by accounting for differences in data source, scope of coverage, methodology, and other country-specific factors. The estimates are based mainly on nationally representative labor force surveys, with other sources (population censuses and nationally reported estimates) used only when no survey data are available.
Aggregation method: Weighted average