Arlington Entrepreneurs

Archives for Gig Economy

Freelancing is a Force – and We Need to Reckon With it

Share

An excellent article from Scott Tillitt of the National Freelancers Union

Within 10 years, at its current growth rate, the majority of the US workforce will be freelancers. Think about that for a second (or a minute): It has major ramifications for our economy, politics, culture.

This startling stat comes from “Freelancing in America: 2017” (FIA), a comprehensive study from freelancing website Upwork and our own Freelancers Union.

FIA estimates that already more than one-third of the US workforce are currently freelancing (57 million Americans) and contribute approximately $1.4 trillion annually to the economy — a nearly 30% jump since last year.

Read the rest of this article

How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act May Affect Your Business

Share

With a shout-out to the National Freelancers Union, here’s an article with more specific information about the advantages and disadvantages of the new tax law. Give it a read. If you have an accountant, you should be talking to them about upcoming changes.

How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act impacts freelancers

In case you missed it due to the holiday rush, President Trump recently signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), representing the broadest reform of tax laws in three decades.

With the new laws now taking effect, you’ll notice both some positive and negative aspects related to individual and business taxes. Suffice it to say, the TCJA will impact you as a freelance professional.

Read the rest of this article on the National Freelancers Union Website.

The Disposable Employee

Share

I happened upon this article in an excellent, philosophy-oriented news magazine, Aeon. It looks like employees have finally become the same products as widgets on an assembly line. No job security, no employer loyalty, nor even an expectation of one. You take a job, not for the economic security or benefits, but to prepare yourself for the next one. It’s chilling and may be another reason behind the  increase in the freelance workforce. Welcome to the world of neoliberal capitalism in the US and the domination of markets over people. How does it feel to be disposable?

The quitting economy: When employees are treated as short-term assets, they reinvent themselves as marketable goods, always ready to quit

“But as market value overtook other measures of a company’s value, maximising the short-term interests of shareholders began to override other concerns, other relationships. Quarterly earnings reports and stock prices became even more important, the sole measures of success. How companies treated employees changed, and has not changed back.”

Read the rest of this article. (If you’re an employee in this type of situation, or already a freelancer, don’t expect to enjoy it.)

9 Ways to Thrive in a Business Famine

Share

(Posted from the Freelancers Union blog)

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, freelance contractor, or an employee that is currently in between jobs, there may be times when you find yourself on the famine end of the feast-or-famine work cycle.

It’s normal to experience fear and discouragement in these times, but it doesn’t have to be your norm. Times of famine can actually help us to reset and focus on the more important aspects of life.

There is more to achieving the ultimate work-life balance, there’s more to YOU and your life than simply living to watch the digits increase in your bank account.

Find out how to manage the inevitable dry-spells of freelance living.

Ahead of the Curve

Share

This may not be the happiest news in the world, but it’s part and parcel of what we deal with as a nation. Welcome to the world of the independent contractor, which may be almost half of us by 2020. We already know the lifestyle. It’s nice to know that at least some media outlets are starting to report on this.

From The Boston Globe:

The gig economy is coming. You probably won’t like it.

Say goodbye to salaries, health insurance, and vacation days. Forty percent of America’s workforce could be freelance by 2020.

By Brandon Ambrosino  

KAGE YAMI is a ninja for hire.

For the past four years, the 27-year-old Newton resident has worked as a professional stunt performer for films and TV shows being made in the Boston area, like Ghostbusters, set for release this summer. Sometimes work takes him to New York. Sometimes California. Sometimes he models. Basically, he says, he takes on “whatever gig comes my way.”

 Yami is one of a growing number of workers participating in the “gig economy,” the hip-sounding term used to describe those Americans who make their livings in nontraditional ways — nontraditional meaning “in ways not limited to a 9-to-5 job” or, framed in less optimistic terms, “in ways that don’t usually offer health insurance.”

According to a 2014 study commissioned by the Freelancers Union, 53 million Americans are independent workers, about 34 percent of the total workforce. A study from Intuit predicts that by 2020, 40 percent of US workers will fall into this category.

Read the rest of this article.

Then feel free to chime in yourself. What do you think? Any ideas for stabilizing the coming independent workforce tsunami? What would you like to see by way of a sustainable social safety  net? In case you didn’t know, the independent workforce is now about 1/3 of the US economy. The same statistic holds true of independents in Arlington, Mass.

The comments section awaits you!