The Rise of Self-Employment – Business as Usual for the Creative


As artist labor markets expand, they continue to do so along an unbalanced and disaggregated path. As Menger notes, self-employment, freelancing and contingent work, are the prevailing work arraignments in the arts, and they “bring into the picture discontinuity, repeated alternation between work, compensated unemployment, non compensated unemployment, searching and networking activities, and cycling between multiple jobs inside the arts sphere or across several sectors related or unrelated to the arts.” (Menger, 242).

In the second quarter of 2012, the number of self-employed was nearly 9.9 million, up 7% from the first quarter. What does this mean for the creative industry that has historically experienced disjointed employment? A recent Forbes article seems to think that the shift to self-employment is likely to result in higher-paying professions, “for reasons including the ubiquity of the Internet, which makes it easier for some types of business to use independent contractors, as well as the reluctance of large firms to hire full-time employees with benefits.” This Forbes article supports the exact problem Menger discusses. As individuals seek higher profits, choosing to contract instead of add to a salary or payroll position, many experience fragmented and unstable careers – especially those in creative careers.


Nikki Tuttle

One Response to “The Rise of Self-Employment – Business as Usual for the Creative”

  1. 1 The Rise of Self-Employment ? Business as Usual for the Creative … | cemodolital

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