Donald Trump is our president and he will have an impact on the economy at-large. With the gig economy still evolving, there are a lot of unanswered questions. How will his presidency affect both businesses and individuals in the gig economy? Will changes in the tax code be beneficial or detrimental?
For starters, there are over 55 million freelancers in the U.S. right now, and this number is projected to increase to 60 million by 2020. The gig economy not only stimulates economic growth, but it also provides people from all over the globe with a source of income. Under the Obama administration the gig economy flourished. With the combination of economic conditions and advances in technology, freelancers took control of their own careers without worrying about not having all of the benefits of a traditional career. But with a new administration in place, the livelihood of entrepreneurs and independent workers in the gig economy will be tested.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare
Since his inauguration in January, Donald Trump and his administration have made headlines week after week for their drastic proposals, especially when it was published that Trump wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). No matter where you stand on the issue, the ACA has made health insurance available to more people and has provided consumers with subsidies (“premium tax credits”) that lower costs for households.
If the new administration revoked the Affordable Care Act, it would pose a much bigger risk to people who use contract and gig economy work as their primary source of income. Although the repeal has stirred a lot of controversy for the participants in the gig economy, this year over 6.4 million Americans signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. (Tweet This Stat)
The biggest demographic to be affected would certainly be Millennials, as they’re the biggest participants in the gig economy. Whether they’re staying in Airbnb apartments or driving for Uber, on-demand services offer them the flexibility and autonomy that they desire. A recent study found that Millennials make up 34 percent of the U.S. workforce (Tweet this Stat) and that 40 percent of them participate in the independent workforce. Since a large portion of them are still enrolled under their parents’ healthcare plans or have enrolled on healthcare.gov, a repeal could have a real impact.
Not only does this repeal pose a threat to many Millennials, but it could have a big impact on baby boomers. More and more, boomers are picking up second jobs to help support their families and secure their retirement. Freelance or gig work is a perfect option for them. It offers them the same flexibility that it does for Millennials. With threats on the ACA (and possibly even Medicare), it could make pursuing freelance work extremely difficult.
What Lies Ahead?
A growing share of the U.S. workforce relies on alternative work arrangements provided by the gig economy. Whatever specific changes Trump plans to implement will impact the lives of millions of people. Whether it’s initiating healthcare rollbacks or enforcing radical policy changes, Trump and his administration will certainly change the course of the gig economy. Regardless of what happens, you can be sure we’ll be paying close attention to his policies and will keep our readers updated on how it impacts them most.