US Economy

New Data on New Gigs

June 15, 2018  • Institute Staff

The gig economy is fundamentally changing the US workforce. Understanding its size and scope is crucial to identifying how gig work can contribute to Americans’ financial security. The Institute’s Future of Work Initiative, Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and the Rockefeller Foundation recently convened a Gig Economy Data Roundtable in New York that brought together nearly 40 experts to explore new employment trends. Senator Mark Warner, the honorary cochair of the Future of Work Initiative, delivered opening remarks about the significance of gig and independent workers (see “Work Reimagined,” page 72). Princeton University’s Alan Krueger, who serves on the Future of Work Initiative’s National Advisory Council, presented his latest efforts to collect more and better data. One major obstacle to good research on the gig economy is a lack of agreement on basic definitions of “independent work.” The roundtable also explored the diversity of gig workers’ experiences and previewed the Gig Economy Data Hub, a new website from the Future of Work Initiative and Cornell that aggregates and explains relevant data. After all, better information means better policies.