U.S. Labor - What's New, What's Not?

http://Moody, Kim

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/05/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21386

An analysis of the changing and unchanging elements of the working-class in the contemporary U.S.



The Gig Economy is usually said to have emerged in the wake of the Great Recession of 2008. In this emerging economy job seekers cobbled together a living by taking and letting go of two or more jobs, sometimes through internet outfits like TaskRabbit, Fivver or Uber. Although it denies it Uber is an employer, while most of the others are simply digital "platforms" that provide a link between employers and gigsters. (Some accounts throw in outfits like Airbnb, eBay or Etsy because they can bring in income, but these are digital marketplaces not labor markets.)

A JP Morgan survey found when it looked at what it called "capital platforms," such as Etsy, Ebay and Airbnb, versus "labor platforms," such as Uber and TaskRabbit, that it was the "capital platforms" that captured the lion's share of the 1% of adults who used any income generating digital platform. By mid-2015, those who used "labor platforms" accounted for .04% of adults surveyed."(9)

Not surprisingly, the BLS does not enumerate the Gigariat. But assuming these peripatetic workers do actually work someplace for someone - even if themselves - they must show up somewhere in the BLS's statistical series. An obvious place to start is with the category of multiple jobholders, since gigsters famously hold multiple jobs.
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