The nature of a ‘job’ is changing and the internet is giving birth to what Gillian Tett calls ‘digital sharecroppers’; people who do not have secure employment. They work on demand. Gillian Tett mentions that Paul Mason observes in his recent book, Postcapitalism, that digitisation is enabling the definition of ‘work’ to be easily blurred. Reference is made to a recent survey by the Freelancers Union and the online platform Elance suggesting that 53 million Americans — or some 34 per cent of the workforce — are now ‘freelancers’. These are defined as “individuals who have engaged in supplemental, temporary or project- or contract-based work in the past 12 months”. It is understood that this compares with the 42 million who were regarded as ‘freelancers a decade ago. It seems that today there are many permutations concerning the nature and extent of a ‘job’.
Read the full article Uber and the bumpy road ahead written by Gilliam Tett and first published on 4 Sept 2015 in the FT Magazine.