January 2021

How the Gig Economy Puts Children’s Development at Risk and What We Can Do About It

In a new guest column published by the Hechinger Report, TMW Center co-director Dana Suskind explains how the hallmarks of the gig economy—unpredictable schedules and pay and limited access to benefits like health care and parental leave—can threaten the early brain development of workers’ children.

The long-term effects of COVID-19 on this sector of the economy are not yet known, but one thing is clear: As we emerge from the current economic crisis, we must fundamentally rethink the American social safety net, which was built in the mid 20th century, when steady employment and employer-provided benefits were the norm.

But what might a social safety net for the era of gig work look like? Dr. Suskind uses the science of foundational brain development to identify three critical components of a new system that protects workers and their children.

Read the column here.