Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I have no idea what it is in the US, but it is certainly a strong phenomenon in the UK where

-People are pushed towards what I called self-unemployment from all sides, be it companies that more readily hire contractors, the fact that you don't even need to set up a company to do that (you would then simply report earnings as a sole trader -yes that then gives you unlimited liability but the client/employer won't mind), that slight tweaks to the benefit system have meant that it tends to be fiscally better for the first 12 months at least (and there was a sudden jump of about a million alleged self-employed in the quarter that such a measure was introduced) for whoever expects to log even a paltry number of hours

-Jobseeker allowance is so very near to zero

-They make sure you have to jump through hoops to get that very near to zero, to the point where it may not make economic sense. Some people have to spend tens of hours at the job centre that they could use for doing productive stuff such as fixing their house, looking after their kids...

And yes, it does not look great to put unemployed on your resume and, since it costs nothing to claim you were acting as a sole trader, many people did it. A one million boost in the data (while the hours worked did not hugely increase) is not negligible.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri May 1st, 2015 at 05:12:01 AM EST
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