Monthly Archives: January 2017

Europe Will Defend Its Gig Economy Workers

BloombergView – January 19, 2017

On Thursday, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to back a report calling for better worker protections in the on-demand economy, also known as the sharing economy. The resolution isn’t binding, but potentially, the issue presents a bigger threat to companies such as Uber than the resistance of their more traditionalist rivals. Europe is not afraid to appear retrograde when it comes to worker benefits, and though that may drag it down economically, it’s also what makes it a nice place to live and work.

Why Car Companies are Trying to Imitate Uber and Lyft

The Verge – January 18, 2017

Car companies want to sell as many cars as possible. This is an indisputable fact. But lately they’ve been trying to speak the language of a post-ownership future. They see Uber and Lyft and the trend of more people moving to cities and abandoning their cars, and they’re anxious. They know there is a problem with too many cars on the road and too much traffic and pollution. So they decided to lean into the “mobility” trend and see where it takes them. Ford spun off its own LLC. General Motors launched a car-sharing company. Nearly everyone started overusing terms like “transportation as a service” and “smart cities” without really explaining what they meant or how this is a sustainable business.

Shiftgig Raises $20M to Grow Platform Connecting Gig Workers to Companies

The Chicago Tribune – January 17, 2017

Shiftgig, the Chicago-based platform that helps companies including Amazon and Nike hire temporary workers, has raised $20 million in Series C funding, it announced Tuesday. The company passed the 200-employee mark in December, of which about two-thirds are based in Chicago, CEO and co-founder Eddie Lou said. He plans to add 100 more this year, mainly in sales, marketing, operations and technology roles. A little more than half of those will be in Chicago.

The Gig Economy Has Become a Management Strategy

Quartz – January 17, 2017

For years, pundits have discussed the impact of Uber and the “gig economy” on the labor force. But the small batch of tech startups that ensure San Francisco’s elite never need to take the bus, or travel for a breakfast burrito, involve, by most estimates, less than 1% of the US workforce. The real impact of the gig economy looks much more like Wonolo and similar on-demand labor startups who provide workers not for individual neighbors, but for companies. It is not a category of businesses, but a management strategy for an increasingly contingent workforce.