If the job market is so good, why is gig work booming?

Under this approach, while providing the flexibility of on-demand work, recruitment agencies typically serve as the employer and administ...


Under this approach, while providing the flexibility of on-demand work, recruitment agencies typically serve as the employer and administer benefits. Workers are paid as W-2 employees, not independent contractors, which means they are still protected by federal labor laws and elements of the social safety net, including the workers’ compensation for injury.

Snagajob, an hourly work platform, says these shifts have tripled from 2020 to 2021, and are likely to quintuple in 2022 – mostly as a side income because people’s regular jobs weren’t enough.

“I think if they got the ultimate flexibility and all the compensation they wanted from their full-time employer, there would probably be less need for shifts,” said Snagajob chief executive Mathieu Stevenson. “But the reality is, in the overwhelming majority of businesses, you can’t offer that much flexibility. So that’s a way of saying, “If you want to add an extra $150 because you need it, whether it’s because you want to do something special with your family or you have to foot the light bill, that’s is an avenue.”

More than online jobs, it can also be a stepping stone to other opportunities.

It worked for Silvia Valladares, 24, who started working at Snagajob a few years ago to support herself as a fine arts student in Richmond, Va., the company’s original market. Washing up and catering at different locations allowed her to work between classes. But while working at an event venue called Dover Hall, she became interested in hospitality and decided to make it her career.

“I got to know the regular staff and management, and they got to know me,” Ms Valladares said. “Eventually I asked if I could just work here, and they just put me on regular staff.” Now, as a bed and breakfast manager, she’s the one posting gigs on Snagajob – which fill up fast lately.

Worker advocates say allowing many competing employers to post last-minute shifts through an intermediary is likely a better model than a world of platforms that change rates at will and lack numerous legal obligations that employers must comply with. But they say that still leaves workers on the margins of the labor market. Research on labor outsourcing has generally shown that temporary workers are paid less generously than colleagues who are hired directly.

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Newsrust - US Top News: If the job market is so good, why is gig work booming?
If the job market is so good, why is gig work booming?
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