Serving Workers in the Gig Economy

Emerging Resources for the On-Demand Workforce

Publisher: O'Reilly
Released: October 2015

It’s difficult to ignore the effects of the "great unbundling" today. The digital revolution has already changed the nature of media, personal health, finance, and other economic and industrial sectors in recent years. As this O’Reilly report reveals, the modern workforce—including the very notion of a "job" itself—is undergoing a similar transformation.

Unbundling is the breaking up of traditional packages of goods and services into their component parts, eventually to be rebundled in new ways. In the same fashion, various job components—income, structure, social connections, meaning, and (in the US) access to healthcare—are being unbundled as well.

Authors Nick Grossman and Elizabeth Woyke explore how changes in the workplace bundle are drawing more and more people into the part-time labor force, aka the "gig economy," including traditional freelancers, craftspeople, independent contractors, micro-entrepreneurs, and shift workers.

Gig workers now have access to many jobs from many sources, but they also face significant challenges in obtaining security in today’s economy. This report describes how the gig economy is shaping up.

Nick Grossman, General Manager at Union Square Ventures (USV), invests in new web & mobile platforms, works with USV portfolio companies, and leads USV’s efforts on public policy and regulatory issues that impact open innovation and the health of the Web.

Elizabeth Woyke is a freelance business and technology reporter and author of The Smartphone: Anatomy of an Industry (The New Press). A former BusinessWeek and Forbes staff writer, her work has been published in Inc., Money, and Time Asia magazines, as well as Fast Company and The Atlantic online.

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