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How Is Gig Economy Changing The Way People Work?
The gig economy has been growing in popularity over the last few years, and it’s now a $2 billion industry that employs more than 10 million Americans. But what exactly is the gig economy? And why are so many people choosing to work for themselves as independent contractors rather than traditional employees? We spoke with two experts on the gig economy: David Rosenbloom, a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center who specializes in employment issues; and Chris Lehane, managing partner of the firm Wigdor LLP.
The most common misconception about the gig economy is that it's just another form of freelancing or micro-entrepreneurship. That couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, the gig economy is much broader than that. It encompasses any kind of business model where an individual works independently, without being directly employed by someone else.
Gig economy jobs have become popular because they offer flexibility. You can choose your own hours and set your own schedule. Many gig workers find this appealing because they don't want to give up their autonomy. They also like having the freedom to pick projects based on their interests and skills, instead of following a rigid job description.
Gig economy jobs have become popular due to the rise of online platforms such as Uber and Lyft. These companies connect drivers with passengers through their apps. Drivers use their personal vehicles to transport riders around cities, usually picking them up at designated locations.
In addition to providing flexibility, gig economy jobs often pay better than traditional jobs. According to PayScale, the median hourly wage for full-time gig economy workers was $25.43 in 2017, compared to $17.18 for non-gig economy workers. However, some gig economy jobs may not pay enough to support a family. For example, you might make less money if you're working as an Uber driver or delivery person.
However, there are downsides to working in the gig economy. One potential problem is that gig economy jobs aren't always stable. If one company cuts back on its demand for labor, then the worker could lose his or her job. Another issue is that gig economy jobs typically lack benefits. Workers may not receive health insurance or paid time off.
Another concern is that gig economy jobs tend to be low paying. Some gig economy jobs require little training or education, but they still pay very little. This means that these types of gigs are unlikely to provide a living wage.
Although the gig economy is still relatively new, we expect it to continue to grow. As more businesses adopt freelance models, the number of gig economy jobs will likely increase.