We found this statistic incredible. The ride-sharing company Uber now has over 400,000 drivers in the United States, all of whom are considered to be contractors. Some of them work part time for the company, other drivers do this full time. In either case, because these Uber drivers are considered to be contractors they are not entitled to the same benefits and protections as “full time employees”.
This is indicative of how the economy has changed, and continues to evolve, in 2016 and going forward. Workers are losing many of their protections and taking these contractor roles. While of course some of them prefer to do this, many others are forced to work as contractors due to the changing job market.
While the number of unfilled jobs in the United States is at a record high in 2016, with millions of jobs available and thousands of companies aggressively hiring, many people do not have the skills or expertise to fill these jobs. So the underemployed or those seeking a job are just not keeping up with technology, the worldwide economy, and the skills that are needed. So they often turn to companies such as Uber or other contract jobs to make ends meet.
These 400,000+ Uber drivers do not have employer health insurance. They do not have retirement plans or 401Ks. They can be fired at will. They do not have many of the benefits that others have. But they are making some money for their families so they can afford to live. This is representative of what millions of other Americans that are working as contractors or part-time jobs are faced with.
What is the answer to this? We always tell people they need to gain the skills they need for today’s’ job market. This often involves going back to school, getting a GED, or a college degree. We always tell people to continue to work for companies such as Uber or maybe a work from home job while they gain these skills. But employees need to adapt. They need to gain the latest skills in the competitive economy.
In Uber’s defense, they are paying tens of millions of dollars in wages to Americans. So this gives many people the income they need. Drivers also have flexibility in decided when to work and for how long. This provides them flexibility to go to school or to maybe get another job. So there are many advantages to employees of this company.
Uber is just one example of a contractor job. There are dozens of other work from home job opportunities, employers, ride sharing companies, and others seeking employment. There are also job placement centers too that people can use in their local community. It does take hard work, initiative, and perseverance though in order to find gainful employment. Do not “settle” to be one of the 400,000+ Uber drivers…if you do not want to. Instead take your career in your own hands.