As anyone who has spent a weekend binging an entire season of Stranger Things or The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel can tell you, society’s consumption of television has shifted dramatically in the last several years. Discovering viewers’ tendency to “binge-watch” several episodes of television in one-sitting, streaming services have begun producing their own original series, releasing entire seasons at once, at all different times of the year. However, along with this shift, the season size has decreased. Whereas a network television show will typically have 22 episodes in a full season, streaming series more frequently have 13 or fewer.
In 2017, we saw how women across the globe have been using the gig economy as a means of gaining some financial independence. A recent report by the Overseas Development Institute even explored how the gig economy is benefiting Syrian women refugees in Jordan.
Meanwhile, women in the United States have also enjoyed earning money while balancing other responsibilities. In a study published last spring, Hyperwallet examined how American women were experiencing gig work, providing useful insight to gig companies on how they can attract, support, and retain female gig workers.
There has been significant buzz lately regarding the risk of discrimination in the sharing economy. Not only has the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its intent to prioritize protections in the on-demand economy in its recently published Strategic Enforcement Plan, but sharing economy businesses have faced additional scrutiny surrounding response times to customers of different races.
As the gig economy grows, policymakers are asking, “what happens with employee benefits?” Specifically, if gig workers are not classified as employees, what options should they have for retirement savings and health insurance? And what should gig businesses do?