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The Gig Economy Is Soaring During the Pandemic – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-01-12 18:26:59 –

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Further contracts or flexible employment are required during the COVID-19 pandemic, but these workers often lack the benefits associated with more traditional work. Will it change?

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Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increase in gigwork that could be defined as any type of income-earning activity outside of traditional employer-employee relationships. In both 2019 and 2018, approximately 41 million Americans were classified as gig workers. Taken together, the revenue generated by these individuals represents about 6 percent of US gross domestic product (GDP).

COVID-19 only accelerated these trends. Denver-based company GigSmart, which connects employers and gig workers through an app, completed 25% of gigs per day after the fall of the new coronavirus in the United States last March. Reported an increase.

GigSmart, which operates in several cities in the United States, has found Denver to be one of the largest metropolitan areas for gig growth, alongside Dallas, Las Vegas, Houston and Chicago. In contrast, in San Francisco, where the strictest curfew throughout the pandemic was issued, gigs were significantly reduced.

Rich Oakes, CEO of GigSmart, says such jobs are becoming more and more popular with both workers and employers. “It gives American workers freedom and control over their schedule,” he says. For employers, the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis has imposed the importance of flexibility on their part. The employer “doesn’t want to risk another furlough,” Oaks said. He expects this trend to continue after the wake-up call caused by the pandemic. “There are many companies that have strictly deployed W-2 staffing strategies. These companies can soundly combine W-2 employees as well as third-party outsourcing solutions and independent contractors. We recognize that it’s important, or Gig Worker, Flex Labor, “adds Oaks.

What is considered gigwork is fairly loose, but can include freelance, consulting, temporary, or project-based work. According to GigSmart data, the local industries with the highest demand for gigwork after COVID are commercial migration, commercial cleaning and construction. Moreover, according to Oaks, both food and consumer goods deliveries are “surge”.

Traditional employees receive the W-2 form from their employer, but most gig workers, also known as “independent contractors,” receive the 1099 form. Employers who employ traditional W-2 employees are obliged to provide certain benefits, such as health insurance, and comply with minimum wages and non-discrimination laws. Gig workers are not entitled to these protections.

Elexa Gilbert, who lives in Denver, has been delivering groceries full-time through Instacart since before COVID-19, and has been doing so throughout the pandemic. She loves the flexibility of working at Instacart and says she offers similar income, if not better than her previous career in middle management, which runs a call center. But she says paying $ 600 a month for her private health insurance, which is a need for gigwork, is a significant drop in this type of employment. In addition, Instacart made the PPE kit available to workers for free, but Gilbert, like many others in the gig economy, decided to buy it himself. “My hand sanitizer exploded in my bag,” she recalls the PPE kit she ordered from Instacart. “The mask was almost a joke, basically cut out of the T-shirt material. I threw it away.”

Reflecting Gilbert’s concerns about health insurance, Oaks said: You know when someone is embracing the gig economy, what do they do? But Oaks is confident that the situation will improve. “I think the collaboration of gig workers, businesses and state legislatures will lead to some great solutions for better working arrangements for everyone.”

But what if the gig worker’s work is exhausted? Self-employed people have traditionally experienced employment declines, but the CARES Act, passed by Parliament in March, extended unemployment benefits to independent contractors for the first time. The pandemic unemployment support program had many local problems, which were extended to December until March 2021 to provide a means of helping contractors struggling.

According to 2017 data, before the pandemic, about 10% of Colorado workers were identified as self-employed. Gig work is done on the state legislature radar. The market for workers’ accident compensation insurance and unemployment insurance. In addition, in September 2019, Governor Jared Polis established an office for future jobs within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. One of the focus of the group is gigwork and how it fits into Colorado’s future.

Gilbert believes that the gig economy will continue to rise as teleworkers continue to work. “People are getting used to just delivering goods to the door,” she says. “People stick to their way, and then they struggle to get things back to their original state.”

The Gig Economy Is Soaring During the Pandemic Source link The Gig Economy Is Soaring During the Pandemic

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