Thursday, December 1, 2022
Caroline Bruckner (American-Kogod; Google Scholar) & Jonathan B. Forman (Oklahoma), Women, Retirement, and the Growing Gig Economy Workforce, 38 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 259 (2022):
Gig work—the selling or renting of labor, effort, skills, and time outside of traditional employment—is a long-standing feature of the U.S. economy. Today, millions of “online gig workers” sell goods and services, or rent rooms, houses, vehicles, and other assets using apponline and app-based platforms (for example, Uber, Lyft, Rover, DoorDash, eBay, Etsy, Postmates, VRBO, and Airbnb) to connect with customers. Millions more of “offline gig workers” run errands; walk dogs; care for children and the elderly; do housework, yardwork, and other occasional jobs; rent rooms; and sell goods at outdoor markets and roadside stands—without using online platforms to connect with their customers. This Article focuses on gig work in terms of what it means for women, their work, and their retirement income security.
In particular, this Article (1) reviews the existing measures of gig work to determine any relevant data gaps; (2) summarizes the tax and retirement rules for gig workers; (3) considers the major factors that contribute to the gender retirement wealth gap; (4) identifies the challenges for gig workers in saving for retirement, including the extraordinary economic circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic; and (5) discusses some federal tax, retirement, and financial literacy policy proposals that could help gig workers better support themselves in retirement.