A new piece in the Chron about the "gig economy" is another depressing sign that if you're not a doctor, lawyer, video game designer, or tech millionaire, you're probably suffering through some indentured servitude and stringing together gigs to survive.
As the article notes, successful "gigwalkers" are still probably riding the poverty line. "Power gigwalker" Lisa Duncan is a rarity, because she "has made close to $20,000 total in the past three years, mainly from shooting restaurant photos with her iPhone for Microsoft." That works out to a little over $6,600 a year, so, yeah. Wow. We mean, yay! Nobody's tied down anymore. "Today, work is no longer a place," notes one CEO. And it's also no longer a thing that gives you vacation, or benefits, or security.
Bloomberg followed up with a piece about TaskRabbit today talking about how swell it is that there's this new industry for the under-employed who can make "a few hundred bucks" by running errands for the over-extended and much better paid residents of San Francisco.
There's also a piece in the New Yorker this week that looks at a company, Upstart, which loans impoverished college grads money, like $50,000 up front, in exchange for 5% of their income for the next 20 years. Sweet.
New York Mag shows us a graph of how the number of full-time workers dropped sharply in 2010 and hasn't recovered, but the number of part-time "gigwalkers" is shooting up. Because this is how pathetic our economy actually is. Thank you, companies who keep finding ways to keep people off your full-time payrolls. You're really innovating.