Is Gig Economy The New Normal?

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

It’s something you can expect to hear from media and academic elites. Therefore, like most of their pronouncements, it merits closer examination.

John Hood, Founder and President of the John Locke Foundation, did just that. “In May 2017, 1.3 percent of U.S. wage and salary workers reported that they had been in their jobs for no longer than a year and expect to keep their jobs for no longer than an additional year,” Hood wrote of the latest data from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The latest time BLS asked this question, in 2005, 1.8 percent of respondents fit this definition of contingent workers. In 1995, the share was 2.2 percent.”

“When BLS broadened the definition to include independent contractors and the self-employed, as well as wage or salary workers who’d been in their current positions for more than a year, the share of contingent workers was 3.8 percent in 2017, 4.1 percent in 2005, and 4.9 percent in 1995. As for ‘alternative employment arrangements’ in general, as BLS defined them, there are fewer independent contractors as a share of the workforce today than in 2005, and about the same number of on-call workers, employees of temp agencies, and people working for contract-services firms.”

So those new jobs you’re hearing about are more likely to be full-time than new openings have been for decades. Of course, for Social Justice and Oppression Studies majors, that probably still involves the day shift at Starbuck’s….