As of April 30, some 309,728 people in Cuba were officially self-employed (private) workers, and 221,839 of them were new, having obtained their licenses after October of last year.
Of the latter group, 22 percent, or 49,349, were involved in making and selling food, according to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the Granma newspaper reported Saturday.
Another of the most popular licenses was that for hired worker, with 38,704, a figure expected to continue rising based on the regulations approved to expand and ease the hiring of workers by other self-employed workers for all activities.
Other popular licenses included those for passenger and freight transport, with 13,982 licenses granted, and producers/salespeople of household items, with 10,187.
Sixty-eight percent of those with new licenses, including permits that have been granted and those being processed, are not otherwise employed, while 16 percent of the new self-employed workers are retirees and 16 percent are state workers.
In addition, 198,511 registered to participate in the new Social Security Special Regime, including workers who were self-employed before the start of the expansion process.
Havana continues to be the province with the highest number of new licenses granted (66,905), followed by Matanzas (17,943), Villa Clara (15,313), Camaguey (15,926) and Santiago de Cuba (14,354).