Advanced markets for irregular work

Reversing the Gig Economy

Employment is fragmenting. Instead of a steady job, workers are increasingly summoned and paid as required hour-by-hour. If these workers are to progress, they need a new kind of labor market.

“Everyone thinks of this issue as an app problem with Uber, Lyft and TaskRabbit,” …... “People don’t realize that you go to a hotel and the workers are subcontracted out. You go to a restaurant and it’s the same thing. It’s becoming so prevalent, and people don’t realize it.”

“Gig work” platforms make headlines. But they are the tip of an iceberg. For tens of millions of corporate employees, fluctuating hours are replacing traditional employment. Meanwhile, America’s shadow economy has reached 10% of GDP. The bulk of this under-the-table activity is odd hours of work.


Over a third of adults could already be in some form of unstable “gig” work. Their employment is typically insecure with limited benefits, prospects or protections. There are many interventions that could help this workforce. But the underlying need is a different kind of local marketplace for all types of irregular work.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 12.43.57Britain’s government funded core technologies and learning around these markets. Last July, 25 American workforce bodies collaborated on a report into the US possibilities, funded by Casey Foundation.

Walmart Foundation enabled Americanization of the platform which is to be open sourced. Supported by Kauffman Foundation, focus is now on potential launches in California.


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