Gig/freelancer economy roundup

In an emergency that has made trucking, logistics, and home delivery uniquely important, fractured the schedules of countless parents and caregivers, and sent the services sector reeling, it would be nice if California and other states were not making war on the work arrangements needed for the situation. That’s why California’s AB5 fiasco (earlier here, here) along with similar moves in New Jersey and elsewhere, come at the worst time.

P.S. Related Cato post now up. Truckers especially have many more problems than this right this moment responding to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, read about some of them here (and help if you can!) They have begun getting direly needed removals of regulations. But don’t let this one slip off the list.


  • I’m surprised I haven’t seen arguments that California’s AB5 was designed to encourage an economy consisting of a small number of very large corporations profiting off the labor of low paid former freelancers.

    I’m also surprised some enterprising person hasn’t figured out how to create a shell “employer” for freelancers so they can continue to work more or less as they have in the past. If day labor is still legal in California I’d think a freelancer version could be created.

  • One could also argue AB5 is a tax measure. I imagine most local musicians never bothered to report their income on taxes (to be fair, most local musicians don’t make very much either). I’m sure this is true of other traditional freelance work. Meeting employment requirements means reporting income and withholding taxes.