385,000 self-employed workers
Ivette Fernández Sosa
AT the end of May this year, 387,275
people were working in the self-employed sector,
according to information issued by the Ministry of
Labor and Social Security. This number represents an
increase of 24,920 people since the end of December
2011, when the total stood at 362,920.
While the most represented activity
through last December was the transportation of
freight and passengers, this was displaced by the
end of the first five months of this year by that of
hired workers, the largest group with 16% of the
total, and 20,000 more than those working in this
sector at the end of 2011.
Activities related to the
preparation and sale of food saw an increase of
almost 5,000 people, while those related to the
transportation of freight and passengers decreased
by 56,000 to around 40,000.
Despite the fact that a range of 181
activities within the self-employed sector have been
approved, those concentrating the highest numbers
and demonstrating perceptible growth are few. In
addition to those mentioned above, in order of
popularity these are mobile vendors of agricultural
produce, those renting accommodation, producers and
vendors of domestic articles and messengers.
Of all persons authorized to work in
the self-employed sector through the end of May this
year, 68% stated that they had no previous job and
15% were retirees, figures comparable to those of
December 2011, when they stood at 66% and 16%
At the end of 2012, 18% of the total
number of self-employed workers were also state
employees, in a form of multi-employment. While this
figure stood at 17%, the percentage also represents
an increase, taking into account that the total of
self-employed workers has increased by close to
25,000 in five months.
The total of those linked to the
special social security scheme has increased by
27,000-plus, from 234,538 in 2011 to 262,319 at the
end of May 2012.
The provinces of Havana, Matanzas,
Villa Clara, Camagüey, Holguín and Santiago de Cuba
continue to account for 65% of the total self-employed,
the same percentage as that at the end of last year.
In general terms, just over 18
months after measures governing self-employed
activities were made more flexible, the number of
persons to have taken advantage of the measures has
grown from 157,371 to 387,275, an increase of almost
Taking into account the fact that
the majority of hired workers are linked to
preparing food, it is the food catering sector which
has experienced the largest expansion in the last 18