Silicon Valley is an interesting place. People with extreme wealth – perhaps the largest concentration of wealth in the nation, or at least, visibly, right next to people in near poverty. Davey Alba of Wired magazine had the opportunity to sit with The Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, while he was visiting this unique area of the country to discuss this interesting disparity.
According to Perez, we’re out of the recession, but we’re still recovering, and the fact that we are now more of a “gig” economy is a sign of that. Perez may believe that some type of regulation is necessary to cover the backs of “on-demand” workers like those who drive for companies like Uber and Lyft, those who deliver groceries for Instacart, or food for Postmates, or anyone who is working for one of these labor based online services that makes our lives that much more convenient. Perez mentioned that these types of jobs do not provide the safety net of retirement accounts, health insurance or even worker compensation, and he wonders how the US can “build a safety net” that encompasses those working in the gig economy.
Though Mr. Perez was on his trip for research and discussion, the government has already started on a few different things to remedy these problems. First of all, the department of labor announced plans to do a survey to find out how people are working these days – the first in more than 10 years. In addition, the government is looking for ways for these people with alternative types of employment to save for retirement.
How do you fare in this new type of economy?
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