The GIG Is Up: What Appears To Be The Booming USA Economy Is Only Hollow Rhetoric Offering Worker Insecurity
We have been told that our American economy is better than it has been in some time, and from one who I consider a false president, we are repeatedly being told that it is the best economy ever!
Yet while we are expected to believe that our economy and unemployment rates are the best in the world, families are struggling to meet their basic needs, most have no or little savings, fewer can buy a home or even rent enough space for their families, and having just one medical emergency could put an entire family on the streets!
Too many college graduates and laid off older workers cannot find jobs, and while the minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living, fulltime jobs are at a premium and dissolving rapidly into part time or contract jobs, which are now GIG or contract jobs offering no security or long term benefit.
It is estimated that 1/4 of all NEW jobs are GIG jobs — jobs that hire workers only for short term tasks for which they are needed. Many are also part time.
The economy looks better than it is, as contract workers prop up big earners, but under Trump’s anti-labor administration they are ruthlessly exploited, and American workers are feeling more anxious since they see little respite from the downward trend of labor vs capital. Our usual standard economic measures regarding America’s unemployment and income, are looking much better than what most Americans are feeling.
The following are some examples from a report that has been written by Robert Reich regarding this state of our jobs and the economy.
“Uber just filed its first quarterly report as a publicly traded company. Although it lost $1bn, investors may still do well because the losses appear to be declining.”
“Uber drivers, on the other hand, aren’t doing well. According to a recent study, about half of New York’s Uber drivers are supporting families with children, yet 40% depend on Medicaid and another 18% on food stamps.”
“It’s similar elsewhere in the new American economy. Last week, the New York Times reported that fewer than half of Google workers are full-time employees. Most are temps and contractors receiving a fraction of the wages and benefits of full-time Googlers, with no job security.”
“Across America, the fastest-growing category of new jobs is gig work — contract, part-time, temp, self-employed and freelance. And a growing number of people work for staffing firms that find them gig jobs.”
“Estimates vary but it’s safe to say almost a quarter of American workers are now gig workers, which helps explain why the standard economic measures — unemployment and income — look better than Americans feel.”
So as Mr. Reich tells us, the economy might look good, but it is not good for the workers, it is only really good for the corporate titans and big companies. For workers it means uncertain incomes, a drop in the demand for their skills, and a layoff, injury or sickness can cause the future to look bleak with no hope for a paycheck.
GIG work and the Right Wing war on labor, has eradicated 85 years of hard-won labor protections. GIG workers are less expensive, since companies hire them and pay them only when they are needed, (as contractors) and thus skip labor protections and securities.
To read Robert Reich’s excellent report on the new “GIG” work, follow this link: