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Flexible Workplace Arrangements - 9/24/15

Uber is an app.  One can press a button on his or her smartphone and within a few moments someone will happen by to take them where they want.  That’s because a lot of people are involved with Uber – more than one hundred and sixty thousand people in the United States depend on it for at least a portion of their livelihood. 

As reported in the New York Times, Uber directly employs fewer than four thousand people, however.  Uber is part of a long-lived movement toward more flexible workplace arrangements.  While many people embrace such arrangements, some worry that the move toward flexible workplace arrangements could undermine the very foundation upon which middle class America is built. 

Last year, twenty three percent of Americans informed Gallup that they worked that their working hours would be cut back and twenty four percent worry that wages will be reduced.  According to Economic Modeling Specialists International, a labor market analytics firm, the number of jobs performed by part-time freelancers or part-time independent contractors grew to thirty two million from twenty million between two thousand one and twenty fourteen.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.