Gig economy – faunaclassifieds y gasset

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I am looking into Instacart to deliver groceries to me from a local Costco. I’m having mixed feelings about gig economy jobs. I read about the Instacart employers from the worker’s point of view and some of the ways Instacart has, in the past, arranged payment does not seem fair to the gig workers who assemble and then deliver grocery orders.

On the plus side, gig jobs are a matter of choice, a way to supplement income without tying oneself to a permanent second job. But the Instacart workers use their own vehicles and gas, and while reviews of reports by them indicate some do extremely well, others barely cover their expenses.

I think gig jobs definitely contribute to statistics that indicate a high percentage of employment here in the U.S. But I see many people and families continue to struggle to make ends meet. There are no easy answers, and I don’t think more government control of this sort of employment is appropriate, because in the face of that sort of control some companies will simply choose to not use gig workers.

I, too, have somewhat mixed feelings on gig jobs. As the economy was recovering from the downturn a few years ago, I had some catching up to do, so I worked three jobs for a period of two and a half years. One of those jobs was a "gig"; I did underwriting inspections. I was technically self employed, but I had to follow some very strict guidelines in order to be paid. The pay was a set fee per case, but the cases varied quite a bit with respect to the distance I had to drive, and the amount of time I had to put in to each. Mileage, time, expenses- all on me. The pay didn’t change just because my "employer" sent me a longer distance to handle a time consuming headache. If I missed a measurement or photo, I had to go back out, at my own expense. Some days I did ok, some days I lost money. But it was extra cash at a time that I needed it, and the work itself came easily to me. In the long run, I felt that I was doing little more for myself than exchanging the equity in my vehicle for cash, with the miles I was putting on.

I do feel that most of these "gig" arrangements heavily favor the employer, and prey upon the desperation of the "independent contractor", but as you pointed out, people do it willingly, and I suspect that most eagerly quit when they find something better.