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Disrupting the disrupters: How the coronavirus will change the gig economy

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SALT LAKE CITY — Working in the American gig economy was already hard enough.

Just ask Jonathan Cousar. He began driving for Uber in New York City in 2014, which was “great at first,” he said.

“When I first started driving, Uber had just come into this area,” Cousar told KSL.com. “And it was really awesome, because they were charging maybe four to five times what they charge now and they had a lot fewer drivers, so each individual driver could actually get a decent amount of trip requests.”

Over time, however, the number of drivers shot up and fares went down. Driver earnings “began to plummet,” Cousar said.

“Back then (in 2014) you could have made $30 to $40 an hour during morning and afternoon rush hour,” he said. That had come all the way down to about $15 an hour before expenses in a 2019 survey by Ridester, a website that covers on-demand transportation for which Cousar now writes.

And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Seemingly overnight, demand for ride-hailing services fell off a cliff. For the first time, Congress made self-employed and contract workers eligible for a form of unemployment in the March coronavirus aid bill — but states then had to figure out how to implement the new program, delaying aid to gig workers by weeks or even months.

The virus fallout has been nothing short of “devastating” to the industry and its workers, Cousar said. “The main sources of business are the afternoon and morning commute to work, airport business and nightlife,” he said. “All of that was shut down.”

Here in Utah, gig workers got some relief in mid-April when the Department of Workforce Services unveiled the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, Utah’s implementation of the congressional mandate to bring unemployment aid to the self-employed. Kevin Burt, director of the department’s Unemployment Insurance Division, said the state had to create the program “from scratch.”

“Pandemic Unemployment Assistance was certainly a brand-new program,” Burt said. “It was different, and it does cover a group of individuals that historically are not eligible for unemployment insurance.” The program has been federally funded through the end of the year and can be used for up to 39 weeks, he said.

Last week the state saw about 1,300 new claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and 8,800 ongoing claims, down from peaks of about 7,500 new and 18,000 continued claims, Burt said.

Solutions and the future

Not every job in the gig economy has suffered like ride-booking services. Food delivery apps, for instance, helped restaurants reach customers even when dine-in service was prohibited.

And some are exploring new models. Eric Nalbone is the vice president of marketing for Drum, a new app that lets users earn commissions for word-of-mouth product and service referrals, “drumming” up business for companies.

“So the business wins,” Nalbone said. “They’re able to really leverage their customers, and people who know the business already, to spread the word about that business. And the individuals win because they actually get compensated for this valuable service that they’re providing” — a service that people already provide for free all the time, he said.

Drum launched a pilot program last fall, Nalbone said, and didn’t originally intend to launch nationally until this summer. But once the pandemic hit, Drum’s leadership saw a need for its service and expanded in April instead. “This is certainly a time when more businesses need support and more individuals need support than ever before,” he said.

Still, for Uber and Lyft drivers, the outlook remains challenging. Ridester released a report this week finding that, after expenses, many drivers are pocketing less than $5 an hour.

And the expiration of the extra $600 of weekly unemployment aid — another provision of the March coronavirus aid bill that ran out just last week — will make matters worse, Cousar said.

“Now that the $600 has run out, all of these drivers who’ve been sitting at home are going to get back out on the streets,” he said. “And drivers who are making $5 to $10 an hour — because there’s not a lot of business, but there weren’t a lot of other drivers out there, either — now they’re going to be competing with three to four times the number of drivers they’ve been up against these last few weeks.”

Cousar’s advice for workers in the gig economy?

“Get some new skills,” he said. “Learn to do computer programming. Learn software coding. Learn coding for websites. Because even before this (pandemic) happened, it was really difficult to earn much more than minimum wage driving for Uber and Lyft.”

That’s not to say gig work is a bad solution for everyone, Cousar said. He was once struck by data indicating a large number of Uber and Lyft drivers are over age 50.

“A lot of these guys are retired,” he said. “They have a little time on their hands and like to make a little extra spending money, and that’s a great way for them to do it.” But as for young drivers?

“The younger guys should get out of it so those guys can make some money at it. And the younger guys can go improve their skills, and up their game, and try to do something else.”

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Foo Fighters Announce Intimate Los Angeles-Area Gig Ahead of MSG Concert | RS News 6/14/21 – Yahoo Entertainment

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Whiteinch to welcome pop ‘princesses’ Little Mix Magic and Simply Ariana for gig

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A POP princess tribute festival is coming near to Clydebank next month.

Princess of Pop Little Mix Magic and Simply Ariana will be putting on an outdoor concert suitable for children and young adults at the Well Fed Cafe in Whiteinch on Sunday, July 4.

Nicola Duffy, organiser of the event, told the Post how she was inspired to start an tribute band company after university.

She said: “I had done a Girls Aloud tribute years ago and I knew I wanted to manage my own tribute band. I have always ran my own dance school too which fuelled the desire to start something like this.

“In 2016 I started a Little Mix tribute and then the following year a girl approached me to do a Ariana tribute which was great.

“I love working with girls and giving them empowerment and there really isn’t many companies that do modern music.”

Nicola was able to put a gig on last September before lockdown restrictions were tightened but is keen to get out touring again to give kids across the west of Scotland something to look forward too.

The 33-year-old added: “I just thought I would put on some shows because the kids have missed out on so much.

“Hopefully it is something they can look forward too especially since two members of Little Mix are pregnant. We pride ourselves on being child-friendly and love interacting with the audience.

“The show will be amazing because the venue is spaced out so people can enjoy the music in their own household bubble with hand sanitiser at every table.

“The girls can also get glitter tattoos and glitter in their hair so it feels like they are going to a proper concert. We just hope we have some good weather for when the day arrives!”

The show will run from 12pm-3pm and tickets are £12 each with an opportunity for socially distanced meet and greets with the acts.

There will also be an opportunity to get autographs.

To book your ticket visit eventbrite.co.uk/e/princesses-of-pop-summer-sessions-whiteinch-tickets.

For more information search Little Mix Magic and Simply Ariana on Facebook.



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Global Gig Based Business Market Highlighting Major Drivers and Trends 2021 to 2026 – TaskRabbit, BellHops, Guru.com, HopSkipDrive – KSU

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How the Gig Economy Is Changing Work as We Know It - Collection

Global Gig Based Business Market Growth (Status and Outlook) 2021-2026 aims to provide the most segmented consumption and sales data of different types, downstream consumption fields, and competitive landscape in different regions and countries around the world. The report analyzes the latest market data from primary and secondary authoritative sources. The report covers the key parameters required for your research necessity. The report contains the latest updated data on the global Gig Based Business market landscape. The study details aspects and dynamics such as demand, revenue estimates, volume, share, growth, types, applications, sales, etc.

The report will guide businesses to provide their client with a better and thorough view of the global market landscape over the major as well as the minor geographical regions. Every possible effort has been made while preparing a market research report like this one and the others. This market report delivers an all-inclusive analysis of the global Gig Based Business market structure along with a forecast of the diverse segments and sub-segments of the market. It displays a detailed forecast description and expresses a version of the market that is essential to craft business plans and implement business strategies.

NOTE: Consumer behaviour has changed within all sectors of the society amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Industries on the other hand will have to restructure their strategies in order to adjust with the changing market requirements. This report offers you an analysis of the COVID-19 impact on the Gig Based Business market and will help you in strategising your business as per the new industry norms.

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The report covers current as well as upcoming technical and financial details of the industry. The study then includes analysis of the market, drivers, geographic trends, market statistics, and market estimates of the industry. The research profiles and analyzes the leading companies and several other prominent companies operating in the market. Some of the crucial aspects considered during the course of research included product description, product classification, industry structure, and various participants in the global Gig Based Business market. An overall overview of the market is given that covers production, consumption, status & forecast, and market growth.

From an extensive pool of operating players globally, the leading key players in the market are:

TaskRabbit, BellHops, Guru.com, HopSkipDrive, Freelancer, Rover, Upwork, Fiverr, DoorDash, Favor Delivery, Turo,

The report delivers insightful details regarding the drivers, restraints, challenging factors, revenue shares, and market valuation of historic data to provide statistics for forecast data. The report also discusses key marketing trends of the market, regional presence, and country analysis in a detailed manner. It demonstrates the market growth statistics, also restraints that may decline the growth, and also overall market revenue in the future based on the present analysis of the global Gig Based Business market.

By the end-user, the market size is segmented as:

Freelancer, Independent Contractor, Project Worker, Part-Time, Other

By the product type, the market size is segmented as:

APP-based, Website-based, Website-based is the most widely used types which takes up about 52% of the total sales in 2019.,

By the region & countries, the market size is segmented as:

Americas (United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil), APAC (China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, India, Australia), Europe (Germany, France, UK, Italy, Russia), Middle East & Africa (Egypt, South Africa, Israel, Turkey, GCC Countries)

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Reports offer illustrative estimations for upcoming years on the basis of recent developments and historic data. For gathering information and estimating revenue for all segments, researchers have used top-down and bottom-up approaches. The recent development of companies in terms of new launches, mergers, and acquisitions, and expansion are covered in the global Gig Based Business market report.

Significant Highlights of The Report:

  • Top factors like revenue, supply-demand ratio, market status, and market value are reflected.
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