Daniel Altman, Instawork Chief Economist

Daniel Altman, Instawork Chief Economist

Recent Posts

How high gas prices affect in-person hourly workers

How high gas prices affect in-person hourly workers

In April we studied the dynamics of commuting for in-person hourly workers in metropolitan areas across the United States. Since then, gas prices have risen by roughly $1 per gallon, and they're up by $2 year-on-year. This increase places a huge burden on people who have to be present at their workplaces. How have they reacted?

 

The premiums for night, weekend, and holiday shifts

The premiums for night, weekend, and holiday shifts

Unlike flexible workers, permanent employees often receive overtime pay when they keep working outside of normal business hours. But for some employees, such as servers in restaurants, night and weekend shifts are actually among the most desirable. To help our business partners set the right pay rates for flexible workers, we decided to look at the dynamics of pay across different times on our platform.

 

ECEC Release Briefing: Business Costs June 2022

ECEC Release Briefing: Business Costs June 2022

Consumer spending is shifting from goods to services

Consumer spending is shifting from goods to services

The Covid-19 pandemic was a boon for e-commerce retailers and their suppliers, as people around the world stayed home and consumed goods that could arrive on their doorsteps. As the world has reopened for business, people have finally been leaving their homes for restaurant meals, spectacles, and other services. And we can see how staffing needs have changed with this shift in the economy.

Monthly Labor Market Report - May 2022

Monthly Labor Market Report - May 2022

Every day, the Instawork platform handles thousands of transactions involving businesses and hourly professionals, generating a huge amount of data on hourly pay as well as other aspects of the labor market. This report summarizes some of the major trends in demographics, roles, and worker constraints in regions across the United States.

Can people on unemployment benefits earn more by working part-time?

Can people on unemployment benefits earn more by working part-time?

The unemployment rate is at or close to its all-time lows in the United States and Canada, and companies are still eager to hire, with many more job openings than unemployed people to take them. In this situation, the capacity of unemployed people to work while looking for a full-time job can provide an additional support to the labor force. But do the incentives created by unemployment insurance programs discourage even part-time or flexible work?

Has pay for flexible work kept up with prices?

Has pay for flexible work kept up with prices?

Last month the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recorded the highest year-on-year increase in consumers prices since 1981, a whopping 8.5% for people who lived in or around cities across the country. Workers' pay had to rise by the same amount to keep their standards of living from dropping, and in February the Wharton School published research suggesting that pay did keep up – except for low-income workers. Is flexible work any different, and what will happen next?

Monthly Labor Market Report - April 2022

Monthly Labor Market Report - April 2022

Every day, the Instawork platform handles thousands of transactions involving businesses and hourly professionals, generating a huge amount of data on hourly pay as well as other aspects of the labor market. This report summarizes some of the major trends in demographics, roles, and worker constraints in regions across the United States.

ECI Release Briefing: Indexed Business Costs to May 2022

ECI Release Briefing: Indexed Business Costs to May 2022

Transactions on the Instawork platform track the pay of hourly workers and the total cost of their shifts to local businesses. This briefing includes indexed cost trends for various roles in regions across the United States. Because the Instawork platform is part of a competitive labor market for hourly work, the trends shown here for total business costs are expected to follow the costs of other sources of staffing over time. Data used in this briefing may include data on future shifts that have been booked on the Instawork platform but have not yet taken place.

Where do flexible workers have the shortest commutes?

Where do flexible workers have the shortest commutes?

Tomorrow is Earth Day, and we at Instawork have been thinking about the impact of flexible work on the environment. By offering the Pros on our platform a choice of shifts at a multitude of businesses, we hope to cut the time and cost incurred to arrive at each workplace. The environment also benefits when workers have shorter commuting distances and can use mass transit. But some metro areas seem better suited to these considerations than others.

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