If it seems like job growth since the Great Recession hasn’t had the usual effect that’s because the job growth hasn’t been usual. All of the net job growth has been in the Gig Economy, jobs that are temporary or part-time or transient. Full-time jobs have been created, but they have been balanced by the number of full-time jobs lost. Since 1995, Gig-style jobs have grown from 9.1% of the workforce to 15.8%, and are projected to account for about 50% of the jobs by 2027. The incentives for corporations are great: fewer commitments, lower health insurance costs, smaller facilities, and cheaper retirement payouts. The consequence is that individuals are having to create retirement plans, work from home offices or coworks, and pay for higher health insurance. They also have more difficulty getting loans and mortgages because they have more difficulty proving stable income – because gigs aren’t stable income by definition. Ironically, some surprising sectors are doing well. The number of romance writers making $100,000 has grown from 6% in 2008 to 15% in 2014. They’ve done so by creating a collaborative community, something other sectors may benefit from mimicking.
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