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What self-employment and secondary activities mean for the economy

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Side hustles are the next big thing

Many offices with CEO nameplates

iStock; Rebecca Zisser/Insider

We are in the midst of a self-employment boom and side hustle.

For decades, the United States had been in an entrepreneurial crisis. Outside of Silicon Valley, few have gone it alone. And once the pandemic hit, economists feared it would further hurt business creation.

But as our senior correspondent Aki Ito writes, something surprising happened instead. Applications for new businesses began to skyrocket, as did the jostling. On Etsy, sales jumped nearly 25% in 2021. And over the past two years, listings on freelance platform Fiverr have more than doubled.

“The numbers are remarkable,” one economist told Aki. “People are seeing that there are market opportunities, given the new normal that we are heading towards.”

Here, Aki breaks down what’s happening – and why it has the potential to create jobs, lower prices and spur innovation.

What prompted you to look into this?

My editor had noticed that there seemed to be a lot of interest in secondary business online recently, and I also knew that there was a very surprising spike in new business apps during the pandemic. We thought there was room for a great story combining these two observations, explaining the rise of full-time and part-time entrepreneurship, and why it was so important for the future of the economy. .

How might this self-employment boom affect the US economy?

New businesses do all kinds of great things for the economy, whether it’s spurring innovation, creating lots of jobs, or injecting more competition into the marketplace. These are the things that make an economy stronger in the long run, which is why this recent boom is so exciting. If this continues, it could really put the US economy on a better path permanently.

What is one of the most interesting side activities you have come across?

One person I spoke to for my story was Melissa Ottenbreit, and when her employer cut her salary at the start of the pandemic, the first scramble she turned to was dropshipping. At first it was presented as easy and super lucrative – although in reality it means extremely slim profit margins for the vast majority of people.

Melissa tried for a while, but decided she was bleeding too much money and turned to a new resume coaching business. Resume coaching isn’t as sexy or new as dropshipping, but it’s a much more consistent side stream of income for Melissa.

Read the full story here:

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Elon Musk brawls with Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg and Elon Musk.

PATRICK PLEUL/Getty Images; Drew Angerer/Getty Images; Vicky Leta / Insider

For the past few years, Elon Musk has feuded with Pete Buttigieg, the nation’s most powerful transportation official — and the man who regulates Tesla and SpaceX — over everything from electric vehicle tax credits to the driverless car safety.

But given Musk’s bid to take over Twitter, their beef is ironic: He’s in a position to bid for the $44 billion acquisition solely because of the billions his companies have received through government largesse. So why does he go after the man who has the most control over his core business?

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Meet the Head of Streaming at Warner Bros. Discovery

Photo of JB Perrette in front of television screens


JB Perrette, a relatively unknown NBC executive who helped launch


wants to combine


and Discovery+ on one platform. But the high-stakes move comes just after the company unplugged its CNN+


service, a decision that will eliminate hundreds of jobs.

Insider spoke with six executives who worked or did business with Perrette about her decision-making and leadership style. They explained how he could meet the challenges ahead.

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Big Law’s ‘invisible middle’ feels left out

A hand reaching for money while another hand withdraws the money

iStock; Rebecca Zisser/Insider

As big law firms distribute profits to partners after a busy 2021, they are under increasing pressure to pay a bigger cut to their rainmakers – but that means less remains for lower partners in rows.

Insider spoke to 23 current and former law firm associates, associates and recruiters about the growing pay gap, which some say has created cracks in the firm’s culture and impeded growth junior lawyers.

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