Tuesday, June 12, 2018
New York Times, Maybe the Gig Economy Isn’t Reshaping Work After All:
You can see the gig economy everywhere but in the statistics.
For years, economists, pundits and policymakers have grappled with the rise of Uber, the growth of temporary work and the fissuring of the relationship between companies and their workers. Optimists cheered the flexibility offered by the freelance life. Pessimists fretted about the disappearance of traditional jobs, with the benefits and legal protections they provided.
That debate has played out largely in the absence of solid data. But on Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its first in-depth look at nontraditional work since 2005, and came to a startling conclusion: The old-fashioned job remains king [Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements].
Roughly 10 percent of American workers in 2017 were employed in some form of what the government calls “alternative work arrangements,” a broad category including Uber drivers, freelance writers and people employed through temporary-help agencies — essentially anyone whose main source of work comes outside a traditional employment relationship. Far from a boom in gig work, that represents a slight decline from 2005, when about 11 percent of workers fell into those categories.
“I think everybody’s narrative got blown up,” said Michael R. Strain, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
Wall Street Journal, Was the Gig Economy Overblown?: