Advanced markets for irregular work

The Irregulars

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Shadow montage 1Some people have regular jobs. Some are unemployed. Irregulars occupy a grey zone in-between.




Are there days when you need to find work, but you don’t know what times you might be available? You need irregular work: employment that fits around existing commitments in your life.

Many people seek work around unpredictable obligations such as family, studying or medical constraints. Some prefer it to mono-skilled dependancy on one organisation (a traditional job). Others are having irregular work forced on them: they need to find top-up hours because of “clo-opening shifts”.


Insight into this corner of labor markets remains sketchy. Informed estimates of Irregulars in the workforce range from 5% to 33%, depending on definition. Much activity is in the shadow economy. But credible evidence points to a growing issue now impacting the entire workforce.


The pivotal issue for Irregulars is quality of market. Someone in a job typically enters the labor market every few years when it’s time to move on. An irregular can be in-and-out several times a day in search of another block of work. The priorities. structures and depth in that market determines their earnings, security and progression. Current markets are poor quality: typically prioritizing investors and employers’ short-term needs.



In this section:

Who are they? Some want irregularity, others can’t avoid it.

What’s their problem? Uncertainty, marginalization, skimpy marketplaces.

Why support them? Prospects for all workers are threatened by “gig” work.


Advanced markets