Monday, April 9, 2012

Bidding for Labor on the Internet

When I was not working, I looked at some of the freelance web site. I guess the industry has continued to growth because several small job / task level web sites have appeared. Now, there are more popping up. I spent a little time going back and checking them out. These website let users post small jobs and tasks or find freelance positions. The small task sites use the internet to take competitive bids and the lowest price worker gets the job.

Most of the small job sites feature really low bids. I mean below minimuum wage level bids. But when you answer the ad, you are operating as an "independent contractor", which not subject to minimum wage laws, so we will see how that stands up to state regulators.

There was also a recent radio feature that started me writing on the subject. You can listen to it, to get an idea of how these sites work. Here, from the On Point Radio show, which spent some time discussing some of the implications.

As a amateur economist, I can see the efficiency of offering jobs over the internet. The advantage is greatly reduced transaction costs. But it seems like most of the benefits go the the person posting the job not the worker.

Here are some sites to check out:

Task Rabbit
and you must include Craigslist

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