We looked to a recent set of studies from LinkedIn and Intuit – a financial software firm – that sheds a bit of light on why the freelance community has been strengthening in recent years. LinkedIn predicts that by the year 2020, 43% of the U.S. workforce will be made up of workers who freelance—that includes younger workers who love the flexibility of working that way and older ones looking to assert more control over their careers. Though technology is a powerful force in enabling the movement, it is not the only factor at play.
Today the options for making a living without a “regular” 9-to-5 job are far more varied—and as a result, a large slice of the labor force doesn’t fit neatly into government statistics. It’s been hard to get a handle on how many people work independently, what they do, and what motivates them to go it alone. To fill in these gaps, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) asked 8,000 people across six countries about their working lives. Their responses provide some surprises. Here’s what we found:
The onslaught of the sharing economy, in particular, the rise of Airbnb, should have put Marriott and Hilton on the defensive. Whether renting a hip studio in Manhattan for a night, or a week-stay in a historic Chateau in Southern France, Airbnb prides itself for connecting people to authentic travel experiences, at any price. With its latest acquisition of the vacation-home rental company Luxury Retreats, Airbnb is poised to eclipse the two hotel chains.
Planting its first flag in the effort to make autonmous electrified vehicles accessible nationwide, GM’s car sharing business, Maven, is giving Los Angeles drivers an electric new way to get around the city.
Some neighborhood-based car-sharing services are asking the Legislature for an exemption from Minnesota’s car rental taxes. But the idea has run into resistance — from other rental companies. Minnesota’s taxes and fees on car rentals can exceed 20 percent, even more on cars picked up at the airport. Car-sharing services pay the same taxes, although they argue that they serve a different market. HourCar, Car2go and ZipCar cater to people who need temporary transportation to run errands, commute to work or go places not easily served by other transit options.
According to a report from Harvard and Princeton economists, nearly all of recent job growth — about 94 percent — is the result of alternative careers, freelancing, Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) businesses and the “gig economy.” Unskilled factory jobs have been relegated once-and-for-all to automation and robotics, and to a lesser degree offshoring. While manufacturing output in America has tripled over the past 30 years, the unskilled hourly jobs that used to dominate the industry are dwindling. Not only do today’s jobs require a different set of skills, today’s jobs require us to re-think what a “job” really is.
Josephine, the startup that lets people cook meals inside their homes and sell them to neighbors, is sponsoring a recently-introduced homemade food bill in California that aims to legalize the sales of prepared meals and other food from small-scale, home kitchen operations.
If drivers were considered employees of ride-sharing services, it wouldn’t be a problem: the employer would be responsible for expenses and damages caused by the negligence of employees. But as independent contractors using their own cars to pick up customers using the ride-hailing smartphone apps, drivers take on liability.
The gig economy is growing and here to stay, yet the future of one key labor policy that supports it is uncertain: The Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.
Rather than pander to global tech companies, Park said his sharing economy vision centers on “restoring a sense of community” from Korea’s traditional past and fostering local startups. His signature Sharing City project, launched in 2012, assists Korean startups like Airbnb clone BnBHero, which even mimics the Silicon Valley company’s previous website design, and SoCar, a car-sharing platform that has attracted 2.5 million users since 2011.