NPR's Goodbye Jobs, Hello 'Gigs': How One Word Sums Up A New Economic Reality covers the history of the word "gig" and suggests it as the 2015 word of the year.
For those of us who have been saying for years that the gig economy is growing - and often being told we're wrong (we're still often told we're wrong) - it's nice to see recognition of the term and trend.
Now we have to get more people to understand that the shift to the gig economy isn't all bad.
For example, the NPR article points out the good side of the gig economy:
The Financial Times explains that in the future, work will be less secure but lots more exciting. We can make our own schedule and hours, pick the projects that interest us, work from anywhere and try our hands at different trades.
Then says the majority of gig workers are ill-paid and "cut loose".
That's the image that phrases like "the gig economy" and "freelance nation" bring to mind, an economy populated by professionals and creatives, typically single millennials — people who may be willing to trade some security for the opportunity to take a month or two off to visit Patagonia. But that language doesn't get at most of the people who are cut loose in the new economy and who aren't reveling in the independence it gives them — the ill-paid temps and contingent workers that some have called the "precariat".
We regularly point out there is definitely a dark side to gig work and that a sizable minority (25% - 30%) of gig workers would prefer traditional jobs. We also regularly call for increased protections for gig workers and new laws and policies to make gig work more secure.
But our research and the research of others (including government agencies) consistently shows the majority of gig workers chose to be gig workers, are satisfied with gig work and plan to continue as gig workers.
In fact, there's no credible research we're aware of not showing the majority of gig workers are satisfied with their work.
That doesn't stop a lot of people erroneously claiming otherwise.
So yes, let's make it better for those not doing well in the gig economy.
But let's also keep in mind that most gig workers prefer their work over having a traditional job.