Is the Gig Economy Coming for Your Job?
Some people believe that the gig economy is truly coming to take your job. Just look at the current shifts. Lyft and Uber have started taking money away from cab drivers. Doordash and Uber Eats are starting to put the delivery drivers in a little bit of trouble. Its not all outside innovation though, while people do use those service for their lower prices and varied choices, the hotels and other hospitality outlets do promote this activity by putting iPads in the rooms complete with food delivery and UBER/Lyft coupons. All of this hurt the tips of the wait staff, concierges, car parkers, ect.
We know that the gig economy is keeping people employed, but is it now starting to hurt people who are working in certain areas. Airbnb has started to disrupt the motel and hotel industry, especially as it grows, but could help the real estate industry as people are purchasing houses to put on Airbnb. These currents in hospitality represent a subtle, sneaky form of technological displacement, care of the gig economy.
The disruption is not coming in the feared form of automated robots stepping in for humans on a factory floors, but rather in the form of smartphone-based independent contractors and supplemental “cobots” that help people with having to talk to a living person. Many app workers are only part-time, driving or delivering to supplement their wages in a traditional job. App companies, for their part, deny that even full-timers are employees, perpetuating the fantasy that gig workers are solo entrepreneurs. It’s a business model that reduces everything to a series of app-enabled transactions, and calls it work, leaving what’s left of the welfare state to fill in the rest. This help pad the statistics of the unemployment in the United States.
The gig economy is here and growing whether you like it or not.