July 6, 2021

The Future of America's Workforce--Innovative, Mobile, and Independent

Barriers to entering the workforce are falling and workers are embracing this newfound flexibility.
The Bridge Policy Download

Discussions of public policy featuring Mercatus scholars.

Welcome to the Bridge Policy Download produced by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Today we’re bringing you the audio from a recent webinar we held between Karen Czarnecki, Vice President of Outreach, and Liya Palagashvili, Senior Research Fellow, both here at Mercatus, on independent workers, the gig economy, innovation, labor law, economics, and much more.

With the rise of independent work--whether app-based, contracting, consulting, and beyond--and new flexible arrangements like fully distributed teams or hybrid office environments, barriers to entering the workforce are falling and workers are embracing this newfound flexibility.

Liya walks us through how all workers are experiencing benefits from these changes, but new research shows the benefits accruing most to those who need or greatly value such arrangements--parents and familial caretakers, those with long-term illness or disability, and the formerly incarcerated among them. Poorly designed public policy risks preventing Americans from finding a job that works best for them and their specific situation, and evidence-based solutions are more important now than ever.

If you’d like to contact the scholar involved in this episode, please email mercatusoutreach@mercatus.gmu.edu.