Work on stage is precarious regardless of the country

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The lives of delivery people in major American cities are dangerous, surprisingly expensive, and largely possible only through the support that application-based workers provide to each other. But one new editorial series of Rest of the world shows that the experiences of US-based concert workers aren’t unique – trying to make a living on indifferent platforms is tough no matter what country you are in.

Rest of the worldThe overview is based on a survey of more than 4,000 workers around the world. The findings of the post are broad – there’s a lot to look at from almost any angle you can imagine – but the similarities between workers from different countries is striking:

Numerous [workers] – more than 60% – say they are financially satisfied. But, at the same time, 62% also said that they were often anxious and scared at work, feared accidents, assault, illness, or simply did not earn enough money to cover their costs. More than two-thirds of workers surveyed by Rest of the world said they wanted to get out within a year. More than a quarter said they plan to quit within a month.

These parallels have emerged in another aspect of platforming work that the series analyzes: the treatment of women in the odd-job economy. Rest of the world found that the historically marginalized status of women in traditional economies was reproduced on apps and platforms. Rest of the world‘s survey indicated women worked fewer hours – and many had caregiving duties in addition to concert work. They have also worked for lower paid concerts and “earn less overall … than their male counterparts”.

The strangling spread of the concert economy, similar to the kudzu vine, is largely possible due to massive sums of money coming from investment funds and, sometimes, other platform companies. The individual profiles included in the series further underline this scope: a doctor working on a telehealth application in India, a delivery boy struggling with back pain in South Korea, and more. There is too much to sum up in one place, which is all the more reason why you should see the whole Rest of the world series here.


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