Guess who’s back? That’s right, Vonetta, with a new season of Nailed It!
In this premiere episode, she discusses a change in the American workforce... the likes of which has not been seen in over a century.
This change is known as the gig economy which has gained steam in recent years with the advent of companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Instacart. These companies share a common theme in that they give people the opportunity to make money in unique ways by accepting jobs that are easily accessible through a couple clicks on their smartphones rather than a full-time employment opportunity.
The gig economy incorporates the growing number of people who no longer hold what is deemed a “regular, 9-5 job” with a long-term connection to a particular organization. In this economic model, people will have a particular task to perform or role to serve for a defined time period.
The prevalence of these gigs is made possible as companies like the earlier mentioned use the widespread influence of smartphones and their apps to get the word out. The gig economy has been beneficial to specific sectors of the workforce including the underemployed, young workers, and the unemployed. According to a study done called the Intuit 2020 report, it is currently estimated that in just five short years, 40% of the American workforce could fall under this umbrella of gig workers.
There are companies profiting from this gig economy that are worth tens of billions, but have been known to keep costs low by maintaining a workforce of independent contractors. Since these workers are not employed full-time, corporations are not obliged to pay them a minimum wage, provide workers’ compensation, or grant any sort of health insurance.
If you have been following the political campaign trail, you might have heard people like Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton weighing in on opposite ends of the debate over whether a gig economy will bring innovation or a return to older economic standards.
There are always two sides to a story. During boom times, the money can be substantial.
Looking at the other side, there are no labor protections with these jobs, as they are not a full-time employee. When the economy is not booming and these gigs are not prevalent, the workers relying on these gigs would be devoid of a safety net for income beside perhaps government assistance programs.