The End of Jobs: The Rise of On-Demand Workers and Agile Corporations

The End of Jobs: The Rise of On-Demand Workers and Agile Corporations

by Jeff Wald


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As the robots rise, we are faced with the End of Jobs, but not in the way you might think...

The world has witnessed three step functions in technological change: mechanization, electrification, and computerization. These industrial revolutions led to massive increases in productivity and thus the need for fewer workers. With each of these technological breakthroughs, the power balance between companies and workers shifted heavily to companies. The abuses of that power by companies instigated employee unrest and sometimes even armed uprisings. Counterbalancing forces rose to constrain companies’ power, eventually prompting unions, regulation, and the social safety net to bring stability to the relationship.

As we enter the fourth great leap forward in technology with robots and AI, we face the first services revolution. The power balance will again shift massively to companies as new technologies drive productivity increases in the service industry, much as the last three industrial revolutions transformed manufacturing. What lessons can we learn from the past three industrial revolutions and the current state of the labor market? How will we renegotiate the social contract to ensure fairness for workers, set clear rules for companies, and provide stability for society? What is the future of work?

The book also includes The Future of Work Prize competition, where the following twenty thought leaders in the world of work wrote essays on their vision of the world in 2040. The contributor that is most correct in 2040 will be awarded the $10 million Future of Work Prize. Contributors include:

Andrew Stern - President Emeritus, Service Employees International Union

Barry Asin - President, Staffing Industry Analysts

Bruce Morton - Head of Strategy, Allegis Global Solutions

Carl Camden - Former CEO, Kelly Services

Cindy Olson - Former CHRO, Enron

Daniel Pianko - Managing Partner, Achieve Partners

David Fano - CEO, Teal

Deborah Borg - CHRO, Bunge

Gene Holtzman - Founder, Talent Tech Labs

Gene Zaino - Founder, MBO Partners

Holly Paul - CHRO, FTI Consulting

Ian Ziskin - Former CHRO, Northrop Grumman

Jane Oates - President, WorkingNation

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. - President, Society for Human Resource Management

Kim Seymour - CHRO, WW (formerly Weight Watchers)

Marcus Sawyerr - CEO, Yoss

Michael Bertolino - Senior Partner, E&Y

Michael Johnson - Former CHRO, UPS

Michelle Greenstreet - Former CHRO, Various

William Weissman - Partner, Littler Mendelson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642934359
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Publication date: 06/02/2020
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,178,900
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jeff Wald is the Founder of Work Market, an enterprise software platform that enables companies to efficiently and compliantly organize, manage, and pay freelancers (purchased by ADP). Jeff has founded several other technology companies including Spinback (eventually sold to Salesforce). He is an active angel investor and startup advisor, as well as serving on numerous public and private Boards of Directors.

Jeff holds an MBA from Harvard University and an MS and BS from Cornell University. Jeff is the author of The Birthday Rules and the upcoming book, The End of Jobs: The Rise of On-Demand Workers and Agile Corporations. Jeff was named “One of the 100 Most Influential People in Staffing” by the Staffing Industry Analysts in 2017 and 2018.

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

Chapter 1 The History of Work 1

The Three Step Functions 2

The Rise of Corporations 6

The Rise of Factories 8

The Rise of the Unions 10

The Rise of Regulation 11

The Rise of the Social Safety Net 12

The Results of Power Imbalance 15

The Rise of the Lifetime Employment Contract 18

Chapter 2 The Breaking of the Lifetime Employment Contract 21

Shareholder Capitalism 22

Globalization 24

Computerization 26

The End of Lifetime Employment 28

Chapter 3 Where Are We Now? 31

Chapter 4 The Data 39

A Look at the On-Demand Economy 45

Chapter 5 The Labor Equation 49

The Risk versus Cost Continuum 53

The Impact on the Future of Work 55

Chapter 6 The Regulatory Question 59

Regulation Today 60

The Tax Gap 63

Chapter 7 What On-Demand Labor Teaches Us about the Future of Work 65

Best Practices for On-Demand Workers 72

Disadvantages of Freelancing 75

Chapter 8 The Future of Work: Near Term 79

Chapter 9 The Rise of the Machines 89

The Skynet Scenario 92

It's Different This Time 96

The Rosie Jetson Scenario 98

The Reality 100

Chapter 10 Predicting the World of Work in 2040 107

Acknowledgments 217

About the Author 219

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