Robert Kuttner, John Schmitt, Heidi Shierholz, & David Weil
Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, and professor at Brandeis University's Heller School.
John Schmitt is vice president of EPI.
Heidi Shierholz is senior economist and director of policy for EPI.
David Weil is dean and professor at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He served as the Wage and Hour Administrator at the U.S. Department of Labor during the Obama administration.
Introduction By Robert Kuttner prospect_debates.jpg Are we all destined to become gig workers? Some experts think that’s the inevitable direction of the job market, driven by technology and employer power. Others say the whole gig story is overblown. After all, unemployment is down to 3.6 percent, the lowest level since 1969. And while lots of people—especially younger ones—do get 1099s as contract workers, most still collect paychecks. What’s actually going on and what are the trends? Even in the progressive community, labor economists disagree. But when you drill down, there is agreement on one core fact: Standard employment has been taking a beating. And as standard employment has eroded, so has labor bargaining power. But what is standard employment? David Weil defined it well in his book The Fissured Workplace . It’s a payroll job, with a package of benefits, a direct relationship between employer and employee, covered by federally legislated...