Must-Read: Larry Mishel: Uber Is Not the Future of Work

Must-Read: I’m with Larry Mishel here: Why do people think Uber-type companies are an important deal, again? Uber, Airbnb, Craigslist… and what else?

Larry Mishel: Uber Is Not the Future of Work: “The rise of Uber has convinced many… that freelancing via digital platforms is becoming increasingly important…

…[But] a look at Uber’s own data about its drivers’ schedules and pay reveals them to be much less consequential than most people assume… distracts from the central features… that should be prominent in the public discussion: a disappointingly low minimum wage, lax overtime rules, weak collective-bargaining rights, and excessive unemployment, to name a few…. Curiously, the best evidence of Uber’s relatively small impact on the American labor market comes from data released and publicized by the company itself. David Plouffe, an Uber strategist… ‘Here in the U.S., there are more than 400,000 active drivers… half the drivers work less than 10 hours per week… a third of drivers said they used Uber to earn money while looking for a job.’… Driving mostly for supplementary income on a transitory basis conflicts with the notion, promoted by the company, that Uber, and gig work more generally, are a major feature of how people will earn a living in the future…

November 17, 2015


Brad DeLong
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