Keep Digging to Find the Gig Economy

Contingent work is growing, just not as fast as its fans claim.

Did she get counted?

Photographer: Andrew Francis Wallace

Contingent workers account for 40.4 percent of the U.S. workforce, the Government Accountability Office reported in April. It’s a data point that boosters of the “gig economy” have thrown around a lot since, and that I’ve beaten up on a couple of times already. The percentage isn’t wrong -- it’s derived from the 2010 General Social Survey conducted by the highly respected organization formerly known as the National Opinion Research Center (it now goes by “NORC at the University of Chicago”). It’s just that it:

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