Freelance Office Lewis Mulatero/Getty Images

La cambiante economía independiente

BERKELEY – En las economías avanzadas ya no es la norma trabajar a tiempo completo para un solo empleador. En lugar de ello, millones de “trabajadores independientes” (autoempleados, autónomos o temporarios) venden su trabajo, servicios y productos a través de plataformas digitales para numerosos empleadores o clientes.

La creciente proporción del trabajo independiente, que suele implicar horas flexibles, promete aportar importante ganancias económicas acumuladas, al elevar las tasas de participación en la fuerza laboral, aumentar la cantidad general de horas trabajadas y reducir el desempleo. Pero la economía de los trabajos temporales también crea nuevos y complejos retos de políticas tributarias, normativas y acceso a beneficios y protecciones sociales que tradicionalmente las relaciones entre empleadores y empleados habían provisto hasta ahora.

Según un estudio del McKinsey Global Institute, en la actualidad hasta 162 millones de personas en Estados Unidos y los 15 países de la UE realizan alguna forma de trabajo independiente. Basándose en una encuesta en línea representativa de 8000 trabajadores en seis países (incluido Estados Unidos), McKinsey determinó que entre un 10 y un 15% de la población en edad laboral depende de trabajo independiente como ingreso principal. Otro 10 a 15% (entre ellos estudiantes, jubilados, cuidadores de personas en el hogar y quienes tienen trabajos tradicionales) recurre a él como ingreso complementario.

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