Growth in the ‘Gig Economy’ Fuels Work Force Anxieties

Description: Uber — which directly employs fewer than 4,000 of the more than 160,000 people in the United States who depend on it for at least part of their livelihood — and similar companies pose a challenge to longstanding notions of what it means to hold a job.


Date: July 12, 2015


File illustration picture showing the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014. A Frankfurt court earlier this month instituted a temporary injunction against Uber from offering car-sharing services across Germany. San Francisco-based Uber, which allows users to summon taxi-like services on their smartphones, offers two main services, Uber, its classic low-cost, limousine pick-up service, and Uberpop, a newer ride-sharing service, which connects private drivers to passengers - an established practice in Germany that nonetheless operates in a legal grey area of rules governing commercial transportation.    REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/Files  (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT CRIME LAW TRANSPORT)

As it happens, though, Uber is not so much a labor-market innovation as the culmination of a generation-long trend. Even before the founding of the company in 2009, the United States economy was rapidly becoming an Uber economy writ large, with tens of millions of Americans involved in some form of freelancing, contracting, temping or outsourcing.
The decades-long shift to these more flexible workplace arrangements, the venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and the labor leader David Rolf argue in the latest issue of Democracy Journal, is a “transformation that promises new efficiencies and greater flexibility for ‘employers’ and ‘employees’ alike, but which threatens to undermine the very foundation upon which middle-class America was built.”      Read Rest of Story

Questions for discussion:

1.What is the “Uberization of the economy”?

2. Wha tare the benefits of the the Uberization of the economy?

3.  What are the threats of the the Uberization of the economy?



105 thoughts on “Growth in the ‘Gig Economy’ Fuels Work Force Anxieties

  1. Sabrina

    1.What is the “Uberization of the economy”?
    Uberization of the economy is where people in the job market of the economy are involved in some form of freelancing, contracting, temping and outsourcing. Companies are opting for this because it can generate a company to be efficient and flexible for the empolyee’s and employers. Companies now are focusing more on what they are good at and contracting other companies to provide what they are not good at.

    2. Wha tare the benefits of the the Uberization of the economy?
    Workers are cheaper of the corporate pay roll so companies can save costs. Technology has made it easier for companies to outsource their work. It has made the workplace more flexible and allows companies to seek after experts in certain fields. A company that outsources their jobs can get hard working individuals and will always rehire them.

    3. What are the threats of the the Uberization of the economy?
    A threat of Uberization is the declining of unions and advancing of globalization. This distancing the employer from the employee is creating the gap between incomes and uncertainties of jobs. Wages have been decreased and contractors are not always guaranteed jobs each month. However people are paid by the task not the hour and the hourly wage would fall below minimum wage.

  2. Tyler Mitchell

    Uberization is the shift in employment strategy that employers all over the world have been using in the past generation with many people involved in some form of freelancing, contracting, temping or outsourcing utilizing technology.
    This human resource strategy is flexible for employees which is a great benefit, but on the downside may include not receiving benefits, full-time hours and etc. Uberization gives employers ways of cost savings in personnel or cost associated with commercial offices.
    People today now have the option to work from home and during hours they decide. Websites such as Skype and other video conferencing software makes this possible and efficient. Ubernization of the economy promotes the declining unionization and advancing globalization.
    This business approach had cost savings as their main objective; rather than employing a full volume of employees at all time and having them in the payroll system, employers could now utilize them on an as needed basis using technology.
    Advantage/Benefit for the organization would be; it enables the organization to focus on what they were best at, while areas in which they lacked they could outsource to an external source. So it saves both effort, time and money.
    Advantage/Benefit for the Employee would be; flexible hours and locations, some people excel working on a contingent basis so they could potentially do better financially, they can take longer vacations although maybe unpaid.
    The disadvantages/threats are mainly regarding the employees. They miss out on paid vacation time, retirement savings plans, may not do as well financially due to lack of sufficient hours. There is uncertainty of incoming monetary funds (Going long periods of time without a job), so a huge restriction in freedom and spending. It is also becoming more important for employees to have a huge skill set (School is expensive).
    A disadvantage/Threats to a company is that it might create job insecurity with employees fearing their job is next to get outsourced to save money, not being able to attract highly skilled employees because of this. Also cost associated for transitioning to these type of HR structures. There could be a negative impact on company culture leading to a less productive workforce, higher worker morale and etc.

  3. Evelyn.Jia

    The Uberization of the economy means that people no longer have to work for regular time. You can work as you like if it is comfortable for your own style. The story said that some people worried that their working hours would be cut back, and some worried that their wages would be reduced. In my mind, if you can control yourself well, it may be a better way to explore the potential and make more positive results.
    As a coin has two sides, the Uberization of the economy has its own positives and negatives. The Uberization of the economy can make the work more efficient and flexible. People can work when it is more suitable for themselves, that seems it is better for part time jobs. It is a good way for the person who doesn’t have a stable job or wants more extra money. But it also makes the work place unstable and it may be some problems about the sense of safety. And the payment is not stable too. It is not a sustainable way for the economic. It is just a second choice for the working life. And it can not provide pensions or other benefits.


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