For an increasing share of Americans, what it means to be a “worker” is not what it used to be.
This encompasses not only familiar independent roles such as small sole proprietors, self-employed craftspeople, and freelancers, but also those now filling traditional jobs through temporary help and labor subcontracting firms as well as those working in the gig economy.
Growth in non-traditional work shows no signs of slowing. The accompanying financial challenges – such as lack of access to customary workplace benefits and greater uncertainty about income - constitute a serious challenge to the workers, the workforce at large, and the broader economy.
Gaining a more complete understanding of non-traditional work and its effects is key to building common financial prosperity in today’s economy. At Commonwealth, we are working to learn about the nature and prevalence of non-traditional work arrangements through the workers’ eyes, using surveys, interviews and focus groups. By engaging with workers directly, we hope to give voice to their perspectives and better appreciate their strengths and vulnerabilities.