The Implosion of Freelance Work

I live in LA, and the article is really about people who work in entertainment/media — every tv show, commercial, music video and movie is the result of anywhere from a few dozen to hundreds of people who work for the run of the project, then move on to another project. It’s everything from the building trades – carpentry, electrical, rigging/framing – to business services — legal, accounting, HR – to tech heavy work – video/sound editing — and finally, a lot of musicians — people who write and play the music you hear. All of these people are employees of the production, not AB5 type gig workers.

It’s a lifestyle/career choice and not for everyone. People hustle, build relationships and are always on the lookout for the next gig. But the work has been steady for decades, and then very suddenly the whole sector shut down hard.

Los Angeles Hit Hard by Implosion of Freelance Work

 

The pandemic has only exacerbated tenuous financial conditions for many in the flexible workforce.  According to a survey of more than 1,100 U.S.-based respondents interested in flexible work, more than half (53%) of people are currently earning half or less of their pre-pandemic income. Approximately one-third (31%) of respondents have lost their entire income since the pandemic started. This survey was conducted by FlexJobs, fielded in partnership with Prudential (1), in late June 2020.

Demographic breakdown of the 1,100 U.S.-based respondents interested in flexible work. Gender: female (81%), Male (17%) Prefer not to identify (2%) Ages: 20-39 (29%), 40-59 (53%), 60+ (18%); Education: high school degree or equivalent (4%), some college but no degree (15%), associate or bachelor’s degree (48%), graduate degree (33%); Career level: entry-level (11%), experienced (56%), manager (21%), senior level or higher (12%). Household income: Less than less than $50,000 (35%), $50,000 to less than $75,000 (18%); $75,000 to less than $100,000 (17%), $100,000 to less than $150,000 (17%), $150,000+ (13%). 34% of respondents were unemployed and looking for work.

Survey Finds 53% Earning Half Or Less Of Their Pre-COVID-19 Income

As a former freelancer my heart goes out to all of the gig workers whose lives have been upended by the pandemic.  I transitioned back to the world of W-2 work quite some time ago and haven’t regretted the move.

Meanwhile in Georgia…

“I think quite honestly this week went real well other than a couple of virtual photos,” Gov. Brian Kemp said at a news conference with the U.S. surgeon general.

Georgia governor: School openings going well except photos of crowded hallways

3rd Cherokee County school closes due to new COVID-19 cases

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4 thoughts on “The Implosion of Freelance Work

  1. The thought of private practice never appealed to me. I have always been in the W-2 world. I liked the security of the biweekly paycheck. And with all of the government controls over medicine nowadays, I believe the military is actually a less restrictive place to practice. Now I am grateful every day for that monthly retirement check.

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