This memo provides governors and state officials with an overview of the key issues related to on-demand workers during the COVID-19 crisis. For the purposes of this memo, “on-demand workers” is a broad term meant to include those workers who do not receive a W-2 tax form for some or all of their compensated work, like entrepreneurs and the self-employed. Research* compiled by NGA estimates that approximately three-in-ten Americans engage in some way with on-demand work, and around one-in-ten Americans engage in on-demand work as a primary source of income. On-demand workers are uniquely vulnerable. They are among those most likely to be exposed to the novel coronavirus, as well as be adversely impacted by the longer-term economic impacts of this crisis.
*For further research, please see:
- Independent work: Choice, necessity, and the gig economy (McKinsey Global Institute)
- Measuring the Gig Economy: Current Knowledge and Open Issues (NBER)
- Contingent and Alternative Employment Arrangements (BLS)
All NGA coronavirus memos can be found here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for current information on the status of COVID-19 In The United States, a list of actions states/territories have taken to address both the public health and economic impacts, and policy resources.