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How should we provide benefits to gig workers?
Brookings
2024.06.24
The past decade has seen an explosion in the market for “gig” workers who provide a wide variety of services for “platform companies” that contract for their services but do not count them as employees. Most notable is the growth in work at Transportation Network Companies (TNC) for which individuals drive customers from place to place (such as Uber and Lyft) and Delivery Network Companies (DNC) for which individuals drive goods from place to place (such as DoorDash and InstaCart). But the gig economy has exploded along other dimensions as well, such as freelancers on sites like Upwork and even crafts creation on Etsy.

This shift has a wide variety of implications for the labor force and for society more generally. One of the most important relates to the provision of employee benefits. For most Americans, employer-sponsored benefits provide their primary source of protection against the costs of illness, short-term income losses due to injury, sickness, or unemployment, and income loss in retirement.