Embracing the Gig Economy, or Learning to Love Underemployment

What constitutes a job has changed but government statistics on the matter have not. A reassessment is needed to support the young people who will keep tomorrow's economy going. 

What's the Latest Development?

The way we currently think of employment is not especially applicable to those looking to make it in today's economy, which is increasingly characterized by part-time, temporary positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: "People with jobs are employed. People who are jobless, looking for jobs, and available for work are unemployed. People who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force." If you aren't sure where you fit in, you're not the only one. In today's gig economy, many people have jobs and are simultaneously looking for jobs. 

What's the Big Idea?

Enthusiasm for the freelancer's life is more easily had by young people, 32% of whom are currently underemployed or unemployed, according to Gallup. "Health insurance goes to people with jobs—gigging requires either an invincible mindset, perfect health or a higher income. And there’s no unemployment for people who were never technically employed. The troubling likelihood of failing every day of the week except one can be a punishing mental burden." A reevaluation of what constitutes employment should be a priority in order to provide freelancers the support they need to keep our new economy running. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


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