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The Gig Economy - 4/18/16

Many in Silicon Valley and other tech hotspots around the nation speak of the gig economy – a circumstance in which work consists of a series of short-term jobs coordinated through a mobile application.  As pointed out by writer Neil Irwin, while such an economy creates opportunities for companies like Uber among others, it raises significant concerns regarding the nature of work and compensation going forward. 

Between 2005 and twenty fifteen, he number of Americans using these alternate working arrangements rose by nine point four million.  That was larger than the overall increase in employment, meaning that there was actually a small net decline in the number of workers with conventional jobs over this ten year period. 

Labor economists Lawrence Katz of Harvard and Alan Krueger of Princeton determined that the percentage of workers in alternative work arrangements, including those who work for temporary staffing agencies, expanded to nearly sixteen percent during the fall of last year, up from ten percent a decade earlier.  There are many implications, including those related to health insurance, workers compensation, unemployment insurance and retirement.  

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.