What Does The Gig Economy Mean for the Social Contract?

March 17, 2017 Leah Hoffmann

In late February, Kelly Services hosted a Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. to examine the rise of gig economy workers—and what it means for the social contract that more and more people are choosing to work independently.

Gig economy workers represent a huge range of professions. They are known, variously, as independent contractors, freelancers, project workers, and free agents. And almost all of them are struggling with an outdated social contract that, as Kelly CEO Carl Camden explains, denies them the safety net of benefits afforded to traditional workers.

At the Forum, Business Talent Group CEO Jody Miller was joined by Susan Lund, Partner at McKinsey Global Institute, and Representative Tim Walberg of Michigan. Drawing from her experience with BTG’s independent talent, Miller argued for the need to cultivate a more vibrant and efficient market and enable smoother connections between contractors and businesses. She also identified a number of quick-win policy reforms, including automating withholdings for 1099s and revising the federal definitions surrounding work to match the reality of today’s landscape.

Watch highlights from the panel in the video above.

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About the Author

Leah Hoffmann

Leah Hoffmann is a former journalist who has worked for Forbes.com and The Economist. She is passionate about clear thinking, sharp writing, and strong points of view.

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