Precarious work, the new 'gig economy' and unemployment

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


McDonough’s chapter on work, is probably the most revised chapter of all those that have remained from the first edition of this book. This says a great deal about the way that the character and experience of work has changed so much. Of course, part of this is due to the response to Covid-19, but by no means do all these changes relate only to the pandemic. Issues such as the widening of the ‘gig’ economy and a greater precariousness of job security are part of longer-term trends, as McDonough points out. So too are some of the solutions to the social problems associated with the lack of work and income relatively new. In particular, the concept of a universal basic income, where everyone from a certain age receives a payment from the state to live on, as discussed here. Although this is not a very new idea, its legitimacy is. Whereas once this notion was seen to be at the margins of ‘real politics’, increasingly there are pilot studies across the globe, and in the UK, experimenting with this seemingly radical notion. This issue and other contemporary ideas about how to solve unemployment and a lack of a regular income are explored in this fascinating chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Social Problems in the UK
Subtitle of host publicationAn Introduction
EditorsStuart Isaacs
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780429356124
ISBN (Print)9781000367164
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2021


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