The Gig Economy: A Critical Introduction

By Jamie Woodcock and Mark Graham

All of a sudden, everybody’s talking about the gig economy. From taxi drivers to pizza deliverers to the unemployed, we are all aware of the huge changes that it’s driving in our lives as workers, consumers and citizens. Drawing upon years of research, stories from gig workers, and a review of the key trends and debates, Jamie Woodcock and Mark Graham shed light on how the gig economy came to be, how it works and what it’s like to work in it. They show that, although it has facilitated innovatory new services and created jobs for millions, it is not without cost. It allows businesses and governments to generate value while passing significant risk and responsibility onto the workers that make it possible. This is not, however, an argument for turning the clock back. Instead, the authors outline four strategies that can produce a fairer gig economy that works for everyone.

You can buy the book here.


Challenging and  important, giving voice to workers on the front line of our growing gig  economy. A must read for trade unionists, policymakers and everyone with  an interest in making work better amidst  rapid tech change.

Frances O’Grady, Trades Union Congress General Secretary

At a time when governments the world over turn away from workers, scholar-activists Woodcock and Graham offer a critical introduction to  the global gig economy. They investigate innovative ways in which new  forms of unions can help to tackle the Trojan Horse of gig labour.

Trebor Scholz, Director, Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy at The New School


Translated into Portuguese as Economia Gig: Uma Abordagem Critica (2022), published by Seneca SP.

Translated into Korean as 긱경제 플랫폼 노동의 지리학 (2022), by Chonnam Natoinal University Press.

Translation into Chinese Simplified Character (forthcoming)


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