Why The Gig Economy Hasn't Killed Traditional Work
In reality, it has only grown moderately
In recent months, a slew of studies has debunked predictions that we're witnessing the dawn of a new "gig economy." The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that there was actually a decline in the categories of jobs associated with the gig economy between 2005 and 2017.
Larry Katz and the late Alan Krueger then revised their influential study that had originally found gig work was exploding. Instead, they found it had only grown modestly. Other economists ended up finding the same — and now writers are declaring the gig economy is "a big nothingburger."
The Gig Revolution's True Believer
Arun Sundararajan, a professor at the NYU Stern School of Business and the author of The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism, remains a true believer in the gig revolution. Sundararajan has been pushing the idea that the gig economy — and specifically work done through digital platforms like Uber and Airbnb — will conquer traditional employment. Instead of an economy dominated by big corporations, he believes it will be dominated by "a crowd" of self-employed entrepreneurs and workers transacting with customers through digital platforms. "We are in the early days of a fundamental reorganization of the economy," Sundararajan said while riding to the airport in, naturally, an Uber.
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