A Word About the Horrid Spike in Unemployment Claims and Why it’s Even More Horrid Than it Appears | Wolf Street
The gig economy, as the US economy has been called due to the growth of business models that shift labor from employees to contract workers, is unprepared for this. Under current rules, gig workers cannot file for unemployment claims – though the stimulus package will change this. And for now, they have not filed for unemployment claims. But their hours of many have been cut, and others lost their gigs entirely.
This includes musicians whose gigs were eliminated when bars, restaurants, and clubs shut down. It includers actors and singers and artists. It includes Uber and Lyft drivers whose business has dwindled. It includes self-employed vacation-rental entrepreneurs with some units on Airbnb that no one is booking because the travel industry has shut down. It includes tech workers whose projects have been put on hold. It includes instructors and coaches of all kinds – such as figure skating coaches, language coaches, and corporate coaches. And so on. Many millions of people.
Those who are self-employed and the rug suddenly got pulled out from under them could not file for unemployment, and they’re not included in these unemployment claims.
But these gig workers, freelancers, and the self-employed may find new help: Under provisions in the stimulus bill, some of them (not all) may become eligible to file for unemployment compensation. If this comes to pass, it will be a form of life-support for those that qualify, and it will produce an additional tsunami of unemployment claims over the next few weeks.