According to a report in today’s Washington Examiner, we may be on the verge of getting some hard data that would show just exactly how big the gig economy really is. Reporter Sean Higgins says that the Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish the latest edition of its Contingent Worker Survey this spring that will offer new data on workers doing short-term, non-salaried gigs. An anonymous source in the Labor Department said the study probably will be published in April, according to Higgins.
“It’s a report that hasn’t been compiled since 2005,” said Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee's subcommittee on health and retirement security. “There’s been a lot of requests by senators for it to be updated.” We’ve blogged about this in 2016 and 2017 (more than once), hopeful that the updated census would be released and provide solid statistics about the size of the nascent gig economy. If we’re really almost about to get this data released, we are another step closer to meaningful regulatory and legislative reform on a variety of topics related to this industry. Government officials will have a hard time continuing to ignore the need for certainty on such topics as contractor classification, portable benefits, civil rights protections, and other related matters once the numbers reveal (as expected) that the gig economy is a massive part of our nation’s everyday work life.