Freelance Office Lewis Mulatero/Getty Images

الاقتصاد المستقل المتطور

بيركلي ــ لم يَعُد العمل بدوام كامل لصالح صاحب عمل واحد المعيار المعمول به في الاقتصادات المتقدمة. فبدلا من ذلك، يبيع الملايين من "العمال المستقلين" ــ الذين يعملون لحسابهم الخاص، أو المستقلين، أو الموظفين المؤقتين ــ عملهم وخدماتهم ومنتجاتهم من خلال المنصات الرقمية لعدد كبير من أرباب العمل أو العملاء.

وتَعِد الحصة المتنامية من العمل المستقل، والذي ينطوي عادة على ساعات عمل مرنة، بجلب مكاسب اقتصادية كلية كبيرة، من خلال زيادة معدلات المشاركة في قوة العمل، وزيادة العدد الإجمالي من ساعات العمل، والحد من البطالة. ولكن "اقتصاد العمل المرن" يخلق أيضا تحديات جديدة معقدة في ما يتصل بالسياسات الضريبية، والتنظيم، والقدرة على الوصول إلى الفوائد والحماية الاجتماعية التي كانت تتوفر عادة من خلال العلاقة التقليدية بين صاحب العمل والموظف.

تشير دراسة أجراها معهد ماكينزي العالمي إلى أن ما يصل إلى 162 مليون شخص في مختلف أنحاء الولايات المتحدة ودول الاتحاد الأوروبي-15، منخرطون حاليا في شكل من أشكال العمل المستقل. واستنادا إلى دراسة استقصائية تمثيلية على الإنترنت شملت 8000 عامل في ست دول (بما في ذلك الولايات المتحدة)، وجدت دراسة ماكينزي أن 10% إلى 15% ــ بما في ذلك الطلاب والمتقاعدين ومقدمي الرعاية المنزلية، وأولئك الذين يعملون في وظائف تقليدية ــ يمارسون مثل هذا النوع من العمل لتكميل دخلهم.

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