The Truth is Powerful

A Look at CalFLEXI: Long Beach’s Experiment With Government-Run Gig Work

As conditions at traditional platforms come under scrutiny, we ask: Should cities be in the gig-worker business?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is part of a series called The Future of Work, which explores what work will look like as we move beyond the pandemic. It’s produced with funding from the William Penn Foundation and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Next City is one of more than 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly , a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push towards economic mobility. Follow us at @BrokeInPhilly . During the peak of the Great Depression, 25% of the American workforce lost their jobs, a staggering figure that would go unrivaled for a century. In May 2020, the country came close: up to 16% of Americans were out of work, beating a high of 10.6% during the Great Recession. In the 1930s, the Roosevelt administration’s response was to create millions of new jobs through the Works Progress Administration, which included unusual branches like the Federal Art Project and the Federal Writers’ Project. Nearly a century later, the city of Long Beach is approaching unemployment with a provocative solution fit for the 21st century: gig […]

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