With the job market in the St. Louis area recovering slowly from the recession, many residents are going to work for themselves. Throughout the past decade, the number of businesses in the St. Louis area labeled as nonemployers — companies with no employees and receipts of more than $1,000 — has consistently grown. Growth in the number of nonemployers in the city has far outpaced the gradual increases in that number seen across Missouri and the rest of the nation.
While data shows more people are working for themselves, economists say nonemployer statistics are not a good barometer for the type of entrepreneurship that has a significant economic impact. Rather, more nonemployer activity could reflect a lack of job opportunities forcing people to go at it alone.