Gig economy is much larger than thought, a key development for these workers


Government surveys suggest that gig workers constituted a small portion of the labor pool. But that might not be right, according to a recent study.

About 1 in 10 workers who report working for an employer on one or more jobs is actually an independent contractor for at least one position, according to a working paper from researchers at the W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. That figure constitutes roughly 15% of the workforce or roughly double previous estimates.

The results also found that a disproportionate number of contractors were low-educated, Black, and Hispanic, which could have massive policy implications for the US going forward.

“Previous studies suggested that the contractors skewed white and male made many people say, ‘hey, we don't need any kinds of protections for these workers, because people are sorting into these arrangements of their own accord,’” ZipRecruiter Chief Economist Julia Pollok told Yahoo Finance. But “maybe these people are falling through the cracks."


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