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Gig economy devastated by pandemic fallout – Gadget

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Two-thirds of gig worklers across the globe have reported a large decline in income, with ridesharing drivers being hardest hit, according to a new study by fintech investor Flourish.

In a report titled The Digital Hustle: Gig Worker Financial Lives Under Pressure, the research reveals significant lifestyle impact and financial damage brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa, India Indonesia, Brazil and the USA.

The research, conducted from May through to August
2020 reveals that a majority of workers viewed the pandemic as an
economic crisis, although their health remained a significant concern .

“The gig economy has created an alternative source
of income for many people away from the 9am to 5pm jobs,” says Ameya
Upadhyay, venture partner at Flourish Ventures. “Covid 19 disrupted the
models in ehailing, online deliveries and the
general gig economy. We saw similar trends and insights in terms of the
impact of the pandemic in South Africa, India, Indonesia, Brazil and
USA.”

In South Africa, 91% of the gig workers
interviewed were very concerned about Covid 19. Their biggest concerns
were how the pandemic will affect their ability to earn an income and
the risk to their family’s health.

The report also revealed the financial resilience
and coping mechanisms of gig workers in the five countries. In South
Africa over half of gig workers reduced household expenses, almost half
borrowed money, and nearly three out of four
had to rely on savings.

The trend is almost similar in Brazil Indonesia
and USA, while in India gig workers experienced financial cushioning,
owing to a strong savings culture, where 83% used their savings and 15%
found new or additional work.

“With many economies now reopening, we hope to see
the gig sector become more vibrant,” says Ameya. “Operations are
obviously going to change in terms of adhering to health protocols in
different countries but the industry should be flexible
enough to take on board the changing consumer behavior.”

Despite the disruption and uncertainties, Flourish
expects a continued growth in the gig economy as workers try to find
the best way to fit into this emerging digital workforce.

“In our post pandemic world, the gig economy is
going to become more important and more vital, especially in Africa. Gig
work is becoming increasingly important as a potential pathway to
socio-economic development and employment creation,
given Africa’s unique status as the continent with the youngest
population but the highest youth unemployment rate.”

Flourish conducted online and phone surveys of
3,195 gig workers from May to August 2020. Respondents were from Brazil
(539), India (770), Indonesia (586), South Africa (605), and the United
States (695).

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Workers

New weekly unemployment claims in state rise to 17,130, gig worker claims spike – Sterling Journal-Advocate

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DENVER — An additional 17,130 people filed for traditional unemployment benefits in the week ending Nov. 28, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Thursday, an increase of 2,001 from the week prior.

The number of people in Colorado who applied for state-level Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in that week rose nearly 93%, from 7,369 claims in the week ending Nov. 21 to 14,242 in the week ending Nov 28. That program is assistance for gig workers, the self-employed and others who wouldn’t normally qualify for regular benefits.

CDLE senior economist Ryan Gedney said the increases in that segment of claims coincided with 15 counties in Colorado going to higher levels of COVID-19 restrictions and may also be driven by claimants exhausting other types of benefits.

The total number of continuing claims made in the state was at 224,076 for the week of Nov. 7, which include all state and federal assistance programs, up 10,373 from the week before.

The amount of regular benefits paid out by the department declined by $2.4 million from the prior week to $30 million.

Several unemployment beneficiaries are expected to receive a one-time $375 payment from the state coffers after Gov. Jared Polis ordered payments as a small stimulus.

Nationwide, the U.S. Labor Department said 712,000 Americans filed for first-time benefits in the period, an increase of 75,000 from the week prior.

© 2020 BizWest Media LLC

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Workers

DoorDash CEO Calls For 3-Step Plan To Modernize Workplace Law To Match Gig Innovation | Fisher Phillips

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In a recent op-ed penned in Business Insider, DoorDash co-founder and CEO Tony Xu laid out a three-step plan necessary to ensure that our nation’s workplace laws stay current to address the ever-growing gig economy by creating a hybrid model of worker somewhere between employee and independent contractor. The November 29 piece also discusses some of the ways in which his company and similar businesses have been instrumental in providing needed services to consumers and all-important compensation for workers looking to manage through the pandemic and ongoing financial crisis.

Some Facts And Figures

Xu explains why he think gig work has become a necessary component to the country’s economy, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. He notes that:

  • 7 million new workers joined the company’s platform since March 2020 to perform work;
  • during the first six-and-a-half months of the pandemic, workers on his company’s platform earned nearly $3.5 billion;
  • of that, $2.1 billion was earned by workers who live in zip codes with above-average Black and/or Latinx representation;
  • 76% of workers indicate that working for DoorDash has had a positive impact on their ability to provide for themselves and their family;
  • 91% of DoorDash workers work fewer than 10 hours per week, with an average of four or fewer hours;
  • 4 out of 5 DoorDash workers say that gig work is not their main source of income; and
  • more than 3 out of 4 of them say they have another job or are in school.

Why Is Innovation Needed?

Regular readers of this blog will appreciate these words from Xu: “Instead of getting caught in the no-win dichotomy of employment versus independent contracting, we need a third way that recognizes that this new approach to working is here to stay. That’s because workers want it and it provides the legal protections and benefits they deserve — it’s as simple as that.” He notes that the overwhelming support that Proposition 22 received from California voters is a testament to the importance of flexible work – and all the more reason why a new path is needed when it comes to workplace laws. “This is a signal to the rest of America that change is vital and now is the time for innovative solutions across the country,” he says.

Xu notes that he and his company are taking the lead and partnering with policymakers and a variety of stakeholders – including workers – in the hopes of building a legal framework that would support today’s workforce. “It’s a vision that reflects what Dashers have told us works best for them — not the workforce of 75 years ago,” he says, referencing the federal wage and hour law (the FLSA) that was crafted at a time that no one could have conceived of the concept of gig economy work as it currently stands.

So What Would Innovation Look Like? A 3-Step Plan

Xu suggests the need for a three-pronged platform to create the system necessary to support the gig economy of today. The three keys? It needs to be portable, proportional, and flexible. The system, as he proposes, would allow app-based gig workers to maintain their independence while getting access to employee-like benefits.

  • Portable: By connecting benefits to individual workers, individuals could freely move from platform to platform without interruption or loss of funding.
  • Proportional: Workers would receive the benefit of accident coverage and workers’ comp-like insurance in proportion to the engagement they have with a particular gig company.
  • Flexible: Gig workers would be able to choose the benefits they want or need, retaining the same sort of freedom that they enjoy with gig work itself.

Xu also notes that protections against workplace discrimination and harassment should exist for every worker – “full stop” – in any revised system.

This op-ed is another positive step towards advancing the conversation in this area. I recommend you read the entire piece here. We’ll continue to monitor this debate and report back with further developments.

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New weekly unemployment claims in state rise to 17,130, gig worker claims spike – The Fort Morgan Times

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DENVER — An additional 17,130 people filed for traditional unemployment benefits in the week ending Nov. 28, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Thursday, an increase of 2,001 from the week prior.

The number of people in Colorado who applied for state-level Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in that week rose nearly 93%, from 7,369 claims in the week ending Nov. 21 to 14,242 in the week ending Nov 28. That program is assistance for gig workers, the self-employed and others who wouldn’t normally qualify for regular benefits.

CDLE senior economist Ryan Gedney said the increases in that segment of claims coincided with 15 counties in Colorado going to higher levels of COVID-19 restrictions and may also be driven by claimants exhausting other types of benefits.

The total number of continuing claims made in the state was at 224,076 for the week of Nov. 7, which include all state and federal assistance programs, up 10,373 from the week before.

The amount of regular benefits paid out by the department declined by $2.4 million from the prior week to $30 million.

Several unemployment beneficiaries are expected to receive a one-time $375 payment from the state coffers after Gov. Jared Polis ordered payments as a small stimulus.

Nationwide, the U.S. Labor Department said 712,000 Americans filed for first-time benefits in the period, an increase of 75,000 from the week prior.

© 2020 BizWest Media LLC

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