Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy
In advanced and emerging economies alike, individuals are struggling to find work and build careers that make use of their skills and capabilities. The strains in global labor markets have been worsening for decades, and the challenges have been magnified in the aftermath of the global recession. In many countries, concerns about employment have been exacerbated by long-term trends of stagnant wage growth and automation. But at the same time, there has been a constant refrain from employers about the difficulties of finding talent with the right skills. The growing use of online talent platforms may begin to address these problems—and even to swing the pendulum slightly in favor of workers by empowering them with broader choices, more mobility, and more flexibility. These tools are fundamentally altering the way individuals go about searching for work and the way many employers approach hiring.