The “gig” economy can be savior or quicksand
➔ Among the new wrinkles to today’s ever-changing job market and workforce is the concept of the “gig” economy.
In case you’re not familiar with the concept, according to investopedia.com, “in a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees.”
Should you consider this?
How popular is it? In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 55 million Americans were employed in the gig economy. According to Newsweek, this represents more than 35 percent of the U.S. workforce. And, it’s expected to grow.
How does this affect the 50+ job seeker like you? Most gig workers are temporary or contract employees who work from home and most gig work can be done on a computer and/or through the internet. Uber drivers are usually considered participants in the gig economy.
If there are gig jobs that you can do that fit that bill, that are right for you, gig work can bring in some much needed revenue and it’s something current that you can put on your resume. Those are all pluses for you.
There is, of course, a downside. For many gig workers, the bottom line tends to be a lot smaller than advertised. If they tell you that you can make $100,000 a year working 10-20 hours per week from home, you might want to get a second opinion.
According to reports in The New York Times and others, many gig workers are fighting back against gig employers who skim considerable sums off the top, leaving the workers with little for their efforts.
The word to the wise is to be diligent. Don’t take their word for it. Check with other employees or other gig workers. It’s age-old advice but, look before you leap.