Daniel Altman, Instawork Chief Economist

Daniel Altman, Instawork Chief Economist

Recent Posts

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.

Does Amazon's pay increase impact all warehouses?

Does Amazon's pay increase impact all warehouses?

Amazon is one of the nation’s biggest employers, and hundreds of thousands of its employees staff fulfillment centers dotted across the United States. In September, the company raised its target for average starting pay to $18 per hour and has had a minimum wage of $15 since 2018. Yet despite Amazon’s dominant position in e-commerce, warehouses are still part of a diverse and competitive logistics industry. 

Monthly Labor Market Report - March 2022

Monthly Labor Market Report - March 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.

How Hourly Workers are Migrating Across the U.S.

How Hourly Workers are Migrating Across the U.S.

The Instawork platform offers hourly workers flexibility in time, industry, role, and importantly in location as well. This week we analyze the movements of Instawork Professionals (Pros) within the United States and Canada. 

ECEC Report Briefing: Business Costs March 2022

ECEC Report Briefing: Business Costs March 2022

Transactions on the Instawork platform track the wages paid to hourly workers and the total cost of their shifts to local businesses. This briefing focuses on costs to businesses for dozens of occupations in regions across the United States. 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.

See No Labor, Hear No Labor

See No Labor, Hear No Labor

This article was originally published by the Wall Street Journal on February 8, 2022 and updated with new data on April 1, 2022.

Hourly workers fall off the government’s radar as they shift from
traditional payrolls to flexible apps.

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