HOUSTON - One of the most significant changes to the job market, since the start of the pandemic, has been the massive growth in gig work. Whether by necessity, or convenience, temporary and freelance jobs have become very popular.
59 million Americans, more than a third of U.S. workers, participate in the gig economy.
For a lot of those people, there can be a lot of work finding the jobs and making sure a lot of details, like taxes, are covered.
A new company to Houston, however, offers to make the experience easier.
Donald Thompkins is a believer, "The next thing you know, I went from part-time to full time." The Dallas man found a job for delivery service using the app-based, temp-service Bluecrew, to find something to do in semi-retirement that would keep him busy when he wanted to be.
"It was so awesome to get off the couch, basically during the week," he says. "I was looking to do something during the week, and just be as flexible as possible."
The seven-year-old, Chicago-based Bluecrew, is already operating in 20 cities and expanding into Houston, with the promise of streamlining the temporary-staffing model and getting rid of a lot of the manual paper-shuffling that comes with it.
Would-be workers create a profile, including experience and schedule preferences, and they're matched with employers in need of help.
"The hourly worker, right now, is super vital to the economy," Bluecrew executive Matt Laurinas says the company is making the gig-economy a bit more secure by taking care of tax-withholding, offering benefits, and paid sick-leave, while helping to fill the holes created by 11 million job openings across the country. It's a win-win, he says, for employers and employees.
"We're able to serve-up the right opportunities for our workers, for them to be able to select those assignments that match what they're looking for in their daily lives."
Bluecrew makes its money from employers who pay them to find workers. With a presence already in Austin and Dallas, the Houston expansion has already attracted 5,000 crew mates, as they're called, with aggressive plans to grow that number to 20,000 and a hundred local companies looking for help.