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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Making Sense of the New Government Data on Contingent Work

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If you’ve consumed any media on the gig economy during the last several years, you were probably seriously confused last Thursday. That’s when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its new survey data on contingent workers, which was much anticipated because the last time the survey was conducted was in 2005. Given the endless coverage of Uber and freelancing as paradigmatic of the 21st century labor market, expectations were that the new data would show significant increases in contingent work.

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