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The “Gig Economy” Grows in the USA Says Visiting Italian Journalist


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Lidia Catalano is a multimedia journalist from Turin, Italy visiting this country to examine the growth of alternative work arrangements. Her primary observation is that this segment of our economy is growing beyond expectations.
Alternative work arrangements take many forms such as hiring temporary, on-call and independent contract workers. It also includes freelancers and some short-term contract workers. This economy is known as the “Gig Economy” – after the term for a short-term performance – a “gig.”
This economy is booming in the United States, according to Catalano. One reason is that employers do not normally have to pay benefits to “gig” workers. Instead, the compensation is usually paid hourly or by a set amount for a job or a period of time.
For employers this is a cost savings because they don’t pay benefits and for the worker, it gives him or her extra freedom and mobility, according to Catalano.
Catalano is on a 90 day tour of the United States studying work economies. Long-term she is a journalist for the Turin daily newspaper La Stampa. Her normal beat is education, migration, gender equality, labor markets and employment.
Catalano was recently presented with the Igor Man prize of excellence in journalism for a report she did about the Marcinelle, Belgium mine disaster of 1956.