Neither Clinton or Trump have been spending lots of time addressing the gig economy.
But it turns out, many voters aren’t big on the gigs, aka contract jobs.
A report released this week by the National Employment Law Project found that most voters see the growth in contracting out labor as a “serious problem that has harmed workers and the economy.”
The negative view of this growing trend cuts across political lines.
• Among Democrats, 59% see the shift to contracting jobs as a bad change, while 14% see it as a good change; and 27% are neutral about it.
• Republicans feel similarly: 58% bad/9% good/33% neutral.
• And independents 61%/13%/27%.
The study found:
By five to one, voters say that the increase in subcontracting—where a company hires an outside firm to supply workers or uses another firm to do work instead of hiring employees directly—over the past 10 years is a bad change.
“Contracting out isn’t inherently bad. Indeed, a large share of employers contract with independent businesses for various reasons, including securing discreet services that may be more effectively and efficiently provided by a specialty company that performs similar work for other customers,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. “But when companies choose low-road contracting to cut their costs at workers’ expense or to absolve themselves of legal obligations to the people whose labor underlies their success, that’s not okay.”
“Unfortunately,” she continued, “these abuses occur all too often, as more companies opt not to hire or retain direct employees but instead use intermediaries—like staffing agencies or contract firms—to supply the labor they need, or illegally treat their employees as ‘independent contractors,’ stripping them of rights and benefits associated with employee status. In these circumstances, contracting out and independent contractor misclassification can result in substandard, unsafe, poor-quality jobs and violations of workers’ rights.”
Hopefully our next president will make this a priority given how American workers really feel about the gig economy.