Instead of working alone, independent workers—freelancers, contractors, independent consultants and temps—are increasingly joining co-working spaces. These are collaborative work environments where independents can rent desk and meeting space down to the hour. Roughly like a gym membership, at co-working spaces, you pack your laptop instead of your sweats.
In Oakland, 2012 is the boom year for formally expanding the prevailing cubicle-centered notions of work and worker archetypes. By the end of the year, Oakland will have at least four formal co-working spaces.
When Shannon Mills left her job as the director of a nonprofit in Berkeley, California about five months ago, she didn’t know what her next job would be. After freelancing for awhile, she decided to hunt for something more permanent.
“I started putting in applications and you know how the job market is …it was just crickets on the other end. People weren’t even telling me thank you for applying,” she said. That routine can become demoralizing. Mills switched up her strategy, migrating her search for work to TaskRabbit.com.
Close to 100,000 jobless Californians will lose as many as 20 weeks of federal unemployment insurance benefits by the end of May. Improvements in California’s economy and a drop in the unemployment rate will end an extension of federal benefits. At an Employment Development Department on Franklin and Turk, KALW’s Angela Johnston spoke to Little Vila, John Saunders, Maurice Gonzales and Yvette, who wouldn’t give her last name. Here are their thoughts on being unemployed in today’s economy: