The future of work is increasingly based on short-term freelance contracts rather than full-time jobs.
There are many jobs where employees believe they have no gainful employment, due to the gap between their income and the cost of living. There are workers who still depend on social services in all communities, in the difficulty that the modern labor situation presents.
The gig economy – or flexible working model for deliveries, rides, etc. – was unable to provide gainful employment at all levels. For example, drivers often discuss their employment status as well as percentages.
Some businesses aren’t exactly profitable. The balance between fair wages, cost of living, cost of doing business, union demands and profits is missing.
Proposals like universal basic income [UBI] where people are supposed to receive a guaranteed income may not be fully rolled out for fear of inflation as the coronavirus stimulus payment, in a sort of loose UBI, continues to be costly in terms of supply and price to consumption.
Supply shortages could continue whether or not interest rates rise. Strikes, protests and unrest can sweep more places amid economic uncertainty, so the question is what can be done for economic output?
Or, what can restore supply in consumer goods, energy, agriculture, commodities, etc. ?
There are no easy answers, as whatever is presented could be dismissed as unfair. However, any society wishing to make progress, adjustments could be made in this inflationary quagmire.
One possible area is level economics, or a bid to hire people in the same role, for the same shift, in the same position, at different levels.
Thus, in an organization, position A at level 1, which should have had only one person, would have 5 people: two at the first level, one at the second and two at the last; or, one on the first level, one on the second, and three on the last. The final level would have no experience or skill in this role, but will be able to perform basic operations as instructed.
Working in the latter tier would be a maximum of two hours at a time, with pay less than minimum wage – half or so, but the aim is for the low wage to benefit production, procurement and business processes, while giving the employee time off.
The salary may not seem like a paying job, but there are people in many communities who don’t have a job at all. Some employees may prefer lower pay for shorter hours. There are others where the salary is low, minimum wage or not. There are others with high stress, immense pressure and quotas leading to constant anxiety at work.
The purpose of this orientation is not to allow some employers to benefit more, but to distribute what would have become too much for one person, while allowing others to learn, earn and increase the productivity.
The model may come with its own unforeseen issues and challenges. It may be allowed temporarily or in certain seasons or to certain organizations or small businesses, but it will be important for the balance of supply in the future, even if monetary policies – quantitative easing, low interest rates or other externalities: war, epidemic, etc. cause economic turbulence.