Gig Economy Employers of gig andshort-term workers will have to adjust their business models, orsee a new generation of employers outcompete them. (Photo:Shutterstock)

The workforce as we know it is changing, plain and simple.Looking for work and need to make money fast? Pick up your smartphone andboot up an app that lets you turn your vehicle into a car serviceor hop on a bicycle to deliver food. You'd be far from the first todo so–according to global consulting firm McKinsey, there are 68 million freelancers orself-employed people in the US today, with around 4 millionAmericans participating in gig marketplaces like Lyft and Postmates. Andfor the first time ever, the number of contract workers at Google exceeded the numberof employees.

This shift has raised a critical question – should freelance,temp and gig employees be eligible to receive employee benefits? These workers areincreasingly driving the American economy. They may bepart-time employees (if they are employees at all), but theirhealth needs are very much full-time. Chronic conditions likediabetes, or the need to provide health care for your children, donot end when you finish your latest gig. So there is not only aneconomic imperative to ensure gig workers have benefits, but amoral one as well.

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