Another Look at the Gig Economy

Gig EconomyBack in January I shared some thoughts on the sharing – also referred to as the peer-to-peer or gig – economy. The People Who Share website has a pretty good description:

The Sharing Economy is a socio-economic ecosystem built around the sharing of human and physical resources. It includes the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organizations.

New Laws For The New ‘Gig Economy’ | On Point

To that I would add this sharing is facilitated and made possible by the Internet and various applications. Increasingly, individuals are reaching out to each other through the Internet where sites and apps connect people seeking services with sellers of those services.

For a nice visual, this infographic from SelfStorage.com breaks down the nuts and bolts of the gig economy.

Inside AmericaCourtesy of SelfStorage.com

 

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.

2 Comments

  1. Hey, James. Thanks for sharing the infographic. Great summation of the gig-economy. Right now I like it. I’m big on freedom and I like the idea of consenting adults meeting each others needs without the supervision of government. I also like the idea that it gives the uncredentialed a shot of making some money. You don’t need a college degree to transport someone (Uber), house someone (AirBnB), or feed someone (Eatwith). There is, of course, a downside to the gig-economy. It doesn’t supply a safety net. For that, you’re on your own. Is it worth it? I think it is. But only time will tell. We’ll see if I feel the same way five or ten years from now. The plot thickens, my friend.

    • Thanks for stopping by, my friend and sharing your thoughts. As with most
      things, there are certainly pros and cons to this emerging economic/labor
      model. No doubt that greater autonomy and the ability to manage/guide one’s
      work day, and more broadly, one’s work life, has a certain appeal.

      However, my take is that at this point in time, the ‘gig-economy’ is not the
      panacea it appears to be for most people. Who does it work for? I would say
      people like me. Someone who is already employed – with substantial pay and
      benefits – who wants to explore other endeavors and make a little extra
      money on a side hustle(s).

      I don’t believe, for most people, it creates the type of jobs – and most
      engaged in performing various gigs need more than one – that would support a
      middle-class lifestyle nor adequately prepare them for retirement.

      Most of the gig jobs don’t come with health benefits, disability insurance,
      minimum wages or paid time off. It’s no surprise that companies like Uber
      suggest that they are not employers, but simply provide a medium through
      which supply and demand for services meet.

      The reality is that most gig workers are relegated to low salaries, no
      benefits, no access to retirement plans, and are the first to feel the
      impact of an economic slowdown … and of course, since they aren’t
      ’employees,’ will not have access to unemployment benefits when they find
      themselves out of work.

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