Income Volatility, Exacerbated by COVID-19, Remains a Top Issue for Gig Workers
National nonprofit Commonwealth announced a new project to address the financial insecurity of the growing non-traditional workforce, who face challenges around income sufficiency and stability. This initiative, supported by the Target Foundation, will address the changing nature of work and the unique financial challenges of non-traditional workers, which disproportionately affect lower-income Black, Latinx and female workers and have been exacerbated by COVID-19. Through research, innovation, and influence, this project will drive sustainable change at scale to address the unique financial challenges of these workers.
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“The changing nature of work and proliferation of non-traditional workers has created new challenges in enabling worker financial security. Further, the pandemic has increased economic uncertainty and caused more extreme income volatility for this labor force,” said Commonwealth Co-Founder and Executive Director Timothy Flacke. “Through this research, we will continue our work of developing innovations and insights that drive the systems change we need to address the unique financial challenges of these workers.”
The work will study the feasibility and effectiveness of strategies that lift household incomes and reduce volatility, designing and testing interventions for non-traditional workers that foster financial security and economic mobility. Ultimately, the findings will influence innovators, non-traditional work platforms, researchers and policymakers, making strides to better understand which interventions work best for non-traditional workers.
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As incomes for working people have both stagnated and grown more volatile over the past 50 years, COVID-induced economic devastation and heightened awareness of economic disparities by race have increased the urgent need for tools that enable non-traditional workers to achieve financial security. Widespread financial security delivers powerful benefits for families, communities, and non-traditional work platforms, and the future “system of work” must recognize worker financial security as an explicit goal, and organize to make it possible for all workers, especially non-traditional workers.
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