The number of people holding non-traditional jobs (independent contractors, temporary workers, “gig” workers) continues to grow even during these unprecedented times. Whilst Covid-19 has disrupted labor markets internationally, many people have managed to secure independent work.
In his article IZA World of Labor author Paul Oyer writes that economic downturns, like the one we are living through, put much more pressure on the typical independent worker, leading to less available work and pressure on the rates they can charge. On the other hand, during significant downturns, many traditional workers lose their jobs and, as a result, all their earnings. As many studies have shown, job loss often leads to long-term negative consequences due to substantial periods of unemployment and/or lower wages (and maybe reduced hours) upon finding another job. However, independent workers are less subject to these extreme losses.