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Keep the day job: Why folks aren’t quitting their conventional 9 to 5 despite the rise of the gig economy

Illustration of an employee looking ahead.
Illustration of an employee looking ahead.
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Despite the rise of Uber and Lyft, a new survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the full-time gig economy isn’t actually growing.

As reported by the Washington Post, rideshare drivers may be changing the face of the transportation industry, but not the gig economy as a whole. U.S. workers in flexible jobs were down to 6.9 percent in 2017 from 7.4 percent in 2005. Traditional jobs are still the bread and butter of the economy, but that doesn’t mean people are shying away from the side hustle.

But the report didn’t count subcontracting and other gigs outside of the conventional work day. And companies are continuing to outsource jobs like janitorial work, computer programming and other positions in order to mitigate costs.

So why aren’t more people ditching the 9 to 5 to be their own bosses? Larry speaks to economists today to break down the numbers. We also want to hear from you. Did you ditch your office job to cobble together full-time “gig” work? Are you working outside your eight-hour day to make ends meet?


Heidi Shierholz, economist and director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington D.C.-based, liberal policy think-tank; she is also a former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor (2014 to 2016)

Will Rinehart,  director of technology and innovation policy at the American Action Forum, a Washington D.C.-based, conservative policy think-tank