Explaining Southern California's economy

Freelancing: The new way to work — if you don't care about getting paid

Freelance-Pitfalls

MastersDegree.net

Freelancing: as a work choice, it's full of ups and downs.

Last year, I wrote a bit about the "gig economy" and the joys/frustrations of freelancing. I meant to blow it all up into a larger feature, but things like Occupy Movement and Solyndra hit. 

However, having been a freelancer at times during my career, I keep an eye on the subject. Via Twitter, I found this great infographic that captures the pros and cons of being a Rough Rider.

•Pro: 50 percent of freelancers "saw their incomes increase in the past year"

•Con: The average freelancer was stiffed for $6,000 total, while 8 in 10 freelancers had a employer refuse to pay up

The data sounds accurate to me — in my anecdotal experience, anyway. In the past decade of so, I never got stiffed or had an employer fail to pay. But in the 1990s...well, it happened on several occasions. We were so much younger then...

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Can 'pollinators' save companies from stagnation?

Surfing the Web at Starbucks

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Patrick Hanlon runs a branding agency called THINKTOPIA. We've traded thoughts in the past, and I think we may be soon trading some new ones regarding this post at Forbes. Patrick explains why "pollinators" — gypsy-esque workers who move from company to company, like bees, bringing tidbits of insight, innovation, and business culture with them — can drive corporate innovation.

Big companies, even ones with a background in innovation, are up against a classic problem. As they grow larger and more dominant (think: Google), they tend to tap out their ability to grow rapidly (think: Microsoft). They then fall into defensive actions to preserve what some investors call the "moat" around their competitive advantages. As the company focuses less on innovation and more on preservation, it can get "disrupted" by a more nimble rival or an upstart.

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Visual Aid: Why self-employment isn't just for the young

This chart is from a Bureau of Labor Statistics working paper that was released in 2008, titled "Self-Employment Transitions among Older American Workers with Career Jobs." I know that's from a few years back — and the data itself is drawn from the 1997-2004 period — but you can see a clear trend: As workers age, they increasingly consider moving into self-employment. Particularly men. Some of this probably has to do with ongoing financial needs in retirement. But the data comes from a study of people aged 51-61, so the "transition" from full-time work to self-employed work is taking place well before the typical retirement age. 

Now connect this trend with what Sara Horowitz, founder of the Freelancers Union, has recently been saying about the changing nature of work in the Atlantic. You can then see that the "Gig Economy" isn't just about younger workers who are stuggling to find full-time jobs. It's also about older workers who are seeking new ways to work, either out of desire or necessity.

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Reportings: Euro-crisis; housing bust; Gig Economy; recession generations

Greek default, French banks, and…Newport Beach? PIMCO's Mohamed El-Erian is more than a little concerned: “The light should be flashing yellow, if not red, in Washington, D.C., and hopefully the IMF meeting can be the catalyst for getting to a common analysis and setting the stage for the G-20,” El-Erian said from Pimco’s Newport Beach, California-based headquarters. (Booomberg)

 

The Federal Reserve of Dallas wonders why the housing boom boomed so big in the 2000s: "The most recent house price and construction run-up exceeded levels recorded during the 1990s economic expansion, when unemployment rates fell even lower and income grew faster. Why is this? Standard econometric models accounting for these factors simply cannot explain the surging house prices and building seen in the mid-2000s." (Dallas Fed)

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