Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Is the Job Market Really So Great: The growth of the "Gig Economy"

by GlennDL
Have you noticed that jobs that used to be filled by high school kids now seem to be filled by working and retirement age adults? Or that temp jobs are now growing in popularity with employers? It used to be that temp jobs were occupied by people seeking second jobs or housewives and students seeking a supplemental income out of choice, but now they are being filled by more and more people who are holding multiple jobs out of necessity?
The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low, but stagnant wages, chronic underemployment, and growing inequality are leading more Americans to take on so-called side hustles. Some want to supplement their incomes. Others are just trying to eke out a living. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans now earn money from the digital “platform economy,” according to the Pew Research Center.

What is a gig job?
A gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. ... The current reality is that people tend to change jobs several times throughout their working lives and the gig economy can be seen as a dangerous evolution of that trend.

The gig economy gets its name from each piece of work being akin to an individual 'gig' – although, such work can fall under multiple names. It has previously been called the "sharing economy" — mostly in reference to platforms such as Airbnb — where people of means and property capitalize their property (without creating jobs) in competition with hotels (that do provide jobs) or Uber where self-employed 'contractors' (without benefits) compete with taxi companies that provide jobs and possibly benefits.

Will the gig economy last?
Over the last several years, the gig economy has grown significantly across the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2017, 55 million people, or more than 35 percent of the US workforce, were participants in the gig economy. This will be greatly impacted as more as temporary and parttime hiring continues. In a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees. A gig economy undermines the traditional economy of full-time workers who rarely change positions and instead focus on a lifetime career.

Employers are already wary of hiring full-time employees because of overtime and health-care costs, they say, and having a pool of potential gig workers at the ready could make matters worse for those seeking the stability, benefits, and protections that come with full-time work. In 2020 the estimation is that the "Gig workforce" will account for almost 50% of American jobs.
"Across the United States, gig workers on apps including Uber, Lyft, and UberEats saw precipitous drops in their income this year, as companies slash wages in anticipation of initial public offerings on the stock market. The companies have also flooded the markets with new workers, making “gig” assignments harder to come by." 4
“Christmas this year will be very minimal. We’re paycheck to paycheck,” Sarah Polito, a 27-year-old Instacart shopper, who lives in a remote village 40 miles east of Rochester, New York, told Motherboard. “I worked on Thanksgiving and I’ll be working up to Christmas. It’s definitely stressful. We’re supposed to have flexibility with this job, but at this point, we’re working all the time because we have to.” 4
"Experts say that apps like Uber and Lyft have strategically deployed a bait-and-switch model, luring in workers—particularly single mothers and immigrants—with lucrative pay and flexible working hours. Once workers have shaped their daily lives around the apps, companies, beholden to venture capitalists, manipulate pay models to lower costs and flood local markets with competition. Instcart tripled its workforce from roughly 40,000 to 130,000 over the past year. This means workers must compete for delivery orders." 
It may seem that more jobs are created but it's more like available jobs are being divided amongst more workers. This is eating at the middle class… where table scrap type jobs (part-time and temp jobs) were the employment market for the unskilled teenager or desperately unemployed. These gig jobs are becoming the only choice for middle-class breadwinners!
A trend that further divides us economically by growing income inequality and lack of economic opportunity.

See also:

  4. From <> 

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