Is outdated legislation holding back the gig economy?

We are in the midst of a dramatic shift in the way we work. In the new gig economy, some 40 percent of the American workforce consists of contingent workers: contract workers, part-time workers, independent contractors and those who freelance.

The U.S. government doesn’t currently collect much data on the many American contingent workers, which means it can’t keep up with their needs. Recognizing this, the Department of Labor is introducing the Contingent Worker Supplement in its next population survey in 2017.

This is an encouraging step. It will lead to more accurate worker classification, better program evaluation and more opportunities for freelancers.

But there is still further we can go. Many of our labor laws were written well before the rapid developments in the labor market. It is our hope that as the government gets a better handle on the number of contingent workers and the way they get work done, lawmakers will better understand the legislation that is needed to suit our new ways of working.

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