Welcome To The Gig Economy

Unemployment rates in most states fell in June, which means fewer people unemployed, right?

According to the experts, it isn’t that more people have jobs — it’s that fewer people are still looking for work. Apparently if you aren’t looking for a job, the government doesn’t consider you unemployed.

The insanity of this logic is that people must obviously do something to avoid living in their cars — and what they are doing is working in the “gig economy.”

WalletPop reports that instead of jobs, we now get gigs. Part-time work in our chosen fields where employers pay us by the hour, the shift, the legal case, the word, the blog post — and that’s all we get: the pay. Health benefits, paid vacations, sick leave, and pensions have no place in the new gig world order.

The gig economy, by the way, is flourishing — growing daily. And why not? From an employer’s perspective, giggers are cheap labor because you don’t have to pay them benefits and you only use them when you have a need.

But the government has no interest in counting giggers when it tries to figure out how many Americans are unemployed. Much has been written about how the unemployment numbers would actually be higher — and truer — if those who have abandoned hope of finding a full-time job and joined the ranks of the gig economy got counted.

Some call it the Pajama Generation, because we amble out of bed in the morning in our PJs and fire up the Mac — waiting for the economy to awaken from its deep, dreamless sleep.

Photo by Ed Yourdon.


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