In recent years, the rise of the gig economy has significantly reshaped the labor market, offering flexible work arrangements that have become particularly appealing to working mothers. The 2024 report on gig work, the care economy, and working mothers sheds light on this evolving landscape and highlights the challenges and opportunities faced by mothers in balancing work and home life.

What is the Gig Economy?

Have you heard the term “gig economy” or “gig work”? If not, don’t worry! The gig economy refers to short-term, flexible jobs often filled by freelancers or independent contractors. Instead of working a typical 9-5 job, individuals take on various gigs based on their schedules and capacities. This trend benefits companies by reducing costs related to salaries and benefits, and it’s advantageous for workers seeking flexibility. The gig economy has seen substantial growth, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which made remote work more accessible. From 2019 to the end of 2023, 7 million more people engaged in freelance work, with nearly half of millennials participating in some form of gig work. This shift is particularly relevant as millennials make up the majority of new mothers. As living costs rise faster than wages, more mothers are turning to gig work to support their families.

The Care Economy and Its Challenges

Parallel to the gig economy is the care economy, which includes both paid and unpaid labor dedicated to caring for children, the elderly and individuals with disabilities. This sector is crucial, yet often undervalued. Caregiving can be unpredictable, especially when it involves elderly parents, making it difficult for caregivers to maintain regular 9-5 jobs. Women predominantly operate childcare and home healthcare businesses but face significant barriers such as difficulty obtaining business loans and higher interest rates, exacerbating economic disparities. Addressing these issues through government subsidies and assistance could make care services more affordable and enable more women to enter or remain in the workforce.

Balancing Work and Home Life

Mothers often bear the brunt of balancing work and home responsibilities. Effective solutions include equitable distribution of household tasks and finding affordable ways to outsource some responsibilities. Prioritising mental health and self-care is also essential for managing these demands.

R-Map aims to delve deeper into the dynamics of remote work and its effects on urban and rural communities. By exploring relevant issues such as digitalisation, spatial implications and economic impacts, the project strives to foster inclusivity, sustainability and resilience in the workforce. Through continued research and collaboration, we hope to shed light on critical topics and contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the evolving work landscape.

Follow us to stay updated on the latest insights and developments in the evolving work sector!

source: https://www.tryhampr.com/2024-report-on-gig-work-the-care-economy-and-working-mothers/

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