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Self-Employed Key to Economic Recovery; Help Them

San Francisco Chronicle (02/02/12) Carl Camden

Carl Camden, chief executive officer of Kelly Services Inc. and a member of the Business Roundtable, says a new approach is needed to create work in the U.S. economy, “one that acknowledges the sea change in what employment means. The time is ripe to overhaul rules, regulations, obstacles and policies that hinder individuals from working on a contract basis and that block businesses from hiring the talent they need.” Camden notes the size of what he calls the self-employed “free agent” work force now encompasses about 44% of the overall work force, or nearly 80 million people, according to Kelly’s research.

Camden cites the difficulties a self-employed entrepreneur faces, including uncertain U.S. Internal Revenue Service definitions, buying health insurance, and saving for retirement. He calls on government to streamline regulations covering free agents, and expand programs that help new entrants to the labor market understand the alternatives to conventional employment.