The good, the bad and the ugly of freelance work

Headline from today’s precarious work conference at Ryerson: freelancing for multiple clients can feel more secure than working for a single employer. That was a bright note for freelancing in the discussion so far, sounded by longtime freelancer Kim Pittaway.

“Start your first job as a magazine editor and you’ll know what what true precariousness is,” Pittaway responded to a conference participant trying to break into the business and hoping for a secure job.

Because we all know the downsides of freelance and precarious work are legion. And they are spreading across the whole economy: no pensions, benefits or disability insurance while pay rates stagnate and real incomes fall.

Writers don’t even have it that bad. Michael Maranda, assistant curator at the Art Gallery of York University, pointed out that working artists don’t even earn enough to cover their costs. He reported that the median studio earnings for artists is -$546 (yes, that’s negative) when their costs are factored in.

What to do? Tune in a bit later today on the livestream for the 3:15 pm ET panel on organizing for our rights (or check back here next week for an update). And please do put your thoughts in the comments.

You can also follow along on twitter at #willwork4exposure.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 9:25 am by editor · · Tagged with: ,

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