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Understanding Nontraditional Work Arrangements and the Policy Landscape for Self-Employed Workers and the Gig Economy

American Enterprise Institute

July 3, 2023

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  • Nontraditional work (e.g., freelancing, contracting, gig, and self-employment) is a growing sector of the labor force, with about 39 percent of US workers engaging in this type of work as either their primary or supplementary source of income.
  • Generally, individuals engage in this type of work to have greater flexibility or to make additional income.
  • Flexible arrangements are transformative for women, who have been driving the growth in the nontraditional workforce.
  • Policies that aim to reclassify nontraditional workers as employees are counterproductive; improving access to portable benefits is the most fruitful avenue to address this workforce’s concerns.