Over at WaPo.
There’s a consensus of sorts that the future of work will be uniquely shaped by the gig economy and labor-displacing technology. At the risk of putting a damper on millions of conference sessions on this topic, I think we should be much less confident in our ability to predict the structure of work or the possibility of technological unemployment.
As new work from Larry Mishel reveals, the gig economy is a tiny share of the whole. We also do not see accelerated labor displacement in the productivity numbers (to the contrary).
But as I stress in the piece, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about ways to improve the quality of future (and present!) jobs. In fact, there’s a robust policy agenda that should be brought to bear, some of which is highly responsive to the increase in “arms-length” employment, where the distance between employer and worker is growing in ways that can undermine labor protections.