Independent contractors, temporary employees, and other so-called “contingent” workers make up a growing share of the American workforce. According to a 2015 report from the Government Accountability Office, contingent workers accounted for 40.4 percent of employed workers in 2010, up from 35.3 percent in 2006.
In Wisconsin—and elsewhere—companies that make up the “sharing” or “gig” economy are forming and expanding. However, some parts of the sharing economy are not being embraced with open arms, and there are lingering questions related to the classification and rights of workers who “gig.”
The sharing economy, while somewhat difficult to define, is likely larger than most people realize. A 2016 study by the Pew Research Center found that 72 percent of American adults had used at least one of 11 shared or on-demand online services. Many of these services, such as ride-hailing apps and grocery delivery, involve a gig worker. However, Pew also considers transactions like buying secondhand items on Craigslist—a website that was popular long before the era of Uber and Airbnb—to be part of the sharing economy. Read the full story here.