New Economy

An economy increasingly based on technology and automation has given rise to sharing, gig and on-demand marketplaces that connect workers and consumers like never before. With such change come the necessity to adapt. The Chamber is leading the way in:

1. Identifying the skills and retraining needed to prepare American workers to compete in the 21st century

2. Educating legislators and consumers about technology’s impact on work

3. Advocating for policies that endorse the innovative nature of the new economy to support individuals and the communities where they live.

More than three in four adults say range of economic entities have changed over the past ten years, especially related to technology and the cost of living.

In thinking about the past ten years, would you say each of the following has changed a lot, changed a little, or stayed about the same?

Changed a lot
Changed a little
Stayed about the same
Don't Know / No Opinion

Technology

  • 69%
  • 13%
  • 7%
  • 11%

The cost of living

  • 62%
  • 19%
  • 9%
  • 11%

The U.S. economy

  • 53%
  • 23%
  • 12%
  • 12%

The skills needed for Americans to find employment

  • 47%
  • 25%
  • 16%
  • 12%

The ways Americans earn income

  • 46%
  • 27%
  • 15%
  • 12%

Innovation

  • 46%
  • 23%
  • 14%
  • 17%

The U.S. workforce

  • 44%
  • 29%
  • 13%
  • 14%

The opportunities, jobs available to Americans

  • 43%
  • 31%
  • 14%
  • 12%

The American dream

  • 42%
  • 23%
  • 21%
  • 14%

The formal education needed for Americans to find, keep employment

  • 41%
  • 27%
  • 19%
  • 13%

Such changes are of clear concern to adults: three in four (73%) are concerned policy makers do not understand the complexities of the changing economic landscape, while seven in ten (71%) worry American workers are not equipped with its required skills.

How concerned are you with each of the following?

Very concerned
Somewhat concerned
Not too concerned
Not concerned at all
Don't Know / No Opinion

A decline in the middle class

  • 45%
  • 28%
  • 10%
  • 3%
  • 14%

Policymakers not understanding the complexities of a changing economy

  • 44%
  • 29%
  • 9%
  • 3%
  • 15%

The difficulty in achieving the American dream

  • 40%
  • 29%
  • 13%
  • 5%
  • 12%

American workers not being able to develop the skills necessary for a changing ecnomy

  • 39%
  • 32%
  • 13%
  • 4%
  • 13%

Income inequality

  • 39%
  • 27%
  • 15%
  • 6%
  • 13%

Automation replacing jobs previously held by American workers

  • 38%
  • 31%
  • 14%
  • 4%
  • 13%

Lack of access to education and jobs training

  • 38%
  • 31%
  • 14%
  • 4%
  • 13%

Public policy not reflecting the complexities of a changing economy

  • 36%
  • 32%
  • 12%
  • 3%
  • 18%

Government overreach when it comes to regulating American businesses

  • 36%
  • 29%
  • 14%
  • 5%
  • 16%

Americans generally view automation as detrimental to U.S. job creation. Nearly half (47%) say it will create less jobs than it will eliminate, while one in three (33%) say it will either create more or the same amount.

Which of the following statements do you agree with more, even if none are exactly right?

Automation will create more jobs than it eliminates

  • 15%

Automation will create less jobs than it eliminates

  • 47%

The number of jobs automation creates will be about equal to the number of jobs it will eliminate

  • 18%

Don't Know / No Opinion

  • 20%
Automation will create more jobs than it eliminates
Automation will create less jobs than it eliminates
The number of jobs automation creates will be about equal to the number of jobs it will eliminate
Don't Know / No Opinion

Adults

  • 15%
  • 47%
  • 18%
  • 20%

Gender: Male

  • 19%
  • 48%
  • 16%
  • 16%

Gender: Female

  • 11%
  • 47%
  • 19%
  • 24%

Age: 18-29

  • 19%
  • 36%
  • 17%
  • 28%

Age: 30-44

  • 18%
  • 47%
  • 14%
  • 22%

Age: 45-64

  • 14%
  • 53%
  • 16%
  • 17%

Age: 65+

  • 8%
  • 51%
  • 27%
  • 14%

Democrats

  • 16%
  • 47%
  • 19%
  • 18%

Independents

  • 10%
  • 45%
  • 16%
  • 29%

Republicans

  • 20%
  • 50%
  • 18%
  • 11%

Highly-educated adults are also optimistic, with nearly half say saying automation will create more or the same number of jobs it eliminates.

Automation will create more jobs than it eliminates

  • 15%

Automation will create less jobs than it eliminates

  • 48%

The number of jobs automation creates will be about equal to the number of jobs it will eliminate

  • 18%

Don't Know / No Opinion

  • 20%
Automation will create more jobs than it eliminates
Automation will create less jobs than it eliminates
The number of jobs automation creates will be about equal to the number of jobs it will eliminate
Don't Know / No Opinion

Adults

  • 15%
  • 48%
  • 18%
  • 20%

Income: Under 50K

  • 14%
  • 45%
  • 17%
  • 24%

Income: 50K-100K

  • 14%
  • 53%
  • 18%
  • 15%

Income: 100K+

  • 18%
  • 48%
  • 24%
  • 10%

Educ: HS or less

  • 14%
  • 43%
  • 15%
  • 28%

Educ: Some college

  • 13%
  • 52%
  • 18%
  • 18%

Educ: College graduate

  • 15%
  • 52%
  • 21%
  • 12%

Educ: Postgraduate

  • 23%
  • 45%
  • 25%
  • 7%

Despite concerns about automation, adults are unwilling to pay more for everyday goods and services in exchange for increased job creation, Only two in five would sacrifice its convenience.

If it meant more American jobs would not be replaced by automation, would you or would you not be willing to:

Willing
Not willing
Don't Know / No Opinion

Have less access to on-demand services via Internet or smartphone

  • 38%
  • 37%
  • 24%

Pay more for everyday goods and services

  • 31%
  • 47%
  • 22%

And, twice as many adults agree that automation affords Americans access to educational and professional opportunities they would not otherwise have.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: While automation and technological advancements may ultimately replace certain jobs, they also
allow Americans access to educational and professional opportunities they would have not been able to afford otherwise.

17%
Strongly agree
36%
Somewhat agree
18%
Somewhat diagree
7%
Strongly disagree
21%
Don't Know / No Opinion

Nearly two in three (63%) say the new economy, defined as an economy increasingly based on innovation and peer-to-peer transactions, makes goods and services more accessible.

Now, thinking about American consumers, do you do you believe the new economy makes goods and services more or less:

More
Less
Don't Know / No Opinion

Accessible

  • 63%
  • 15%
  • 22%

Affordable

  • 39%
  • 34%
  • 27%

And they overwhelmingly recognize economic changes due to its emergence.

In thinking about the past few years, would you say the new economy has caused each of the following to change a lot, change a little, or has it not had much impact either way?

Changed a lot
Changed a little
Stayed about the same
Don't Know / No Opinion

Technology

  • 56%
  • 21%
  • 6%
  • 17%

The cost of living

  • 48%
  • 25%
  • 10%
  • 17%

Innovation

  • 47%
  • 24%
  • 10%
  • 20%

The U.S. economy

  • 43%
  • 29%
  • 9%
  • 19%

The skills needed for Americans to find employment

  • 41%
  • 31%
  • 10%
  • 18%

The opportunities, jobs available to Americans

  • 41%
  • 33%
  • 7%
  • 18%

The ways Americans earn income

  • 41%
  • 32%
  • 8%
  • 19%

The U.S. workforce

  • 39%
  • 33%
  • 10%
  • 19%

The formal education needed for Americans to find, keep employment

  • 36%
  • 33%
  • 13%
  • 17%

The American dream

  • 34%
  • 30%
  • 17%
  • 19%

With such change comes the need for adaptation: 7 in 10 are concerned Americans will not have the skills necessary to find and keep employment due to automation and innovation.

As you may know, automation and innovation in technology will require workers to learn new skills and possibly find other areas of employment. How concerned are you that Americans will not have the skills necessary to find and keep employment due to automation and innovation in technology?

29%
Very concerned
40%
Somewhat concerned
14%
Not too concerned
0%
Not concerned at all
14%
Don't Know / No Opinion

Adults agree businesses and government officials should be equally responsible for ensuring these programs are developed, with a majority of Democrats (53%) and a plurality Republicans (42%) in agreement.

Who should be most responsible when it comes to developing training programs to teach American workers the skills necessary to find and keep employment due to automation and innovation in technology?

Government officials

  • 14%

Private businesses

  • 20%

Government officials and private businesses should be equally responsible

  • 47%

Don't Know / No Opinion

  • 19%
Government officials
Private businesses
Government officials and private businesses should be equally responsible
Don't Know / No Opinion

Adults

  • 14%
  • 20%
  • 47%
  • 19%

Gender: Male

  • 18%
  • 23%
  • 44%
  • 15%

Gender: Female

  • 11%
  • 17%
  • 49%
  • 23%

Age: 18-29

  • 22%
  • 15%
  • 34%
  • 29%

Age: 30-44

  • 20%
  • 19%
  • 40%
  • 21%

Age: 45-64

  • 12%
  • 21%
  • 50%
  • 17%

Age: 65+

  • 3%
  • 23%
  • 64%
  • 10%

Democrats

  • 18%
  • 12%
  • 53%
  • 17%

Independents

  • 10%
  • 18%
  • 45%
  • 27%

Republicans

  • 16%
  • 29%
  • 42%
  • 13%

Three in five (58%) say government should promote policies that make it easier for new economy businesses to operate in their local area.

Generally, do you believe government should promote policies that make it harder or easier for new economy businesses to operate in your local area?

58%
Easier to operate
14%
Harder to operate
28%
Don’t Know / No Opinion

Nearly half of adults lack confidence that Washington policymakers understand or have the expertise to develop laws governing the new economy.

How confident are you in each of the following?

Very confident
Somewhat confident
Not too confident
Not confident at all
Don't Know / No Opinion

Current public policy reflects an economy increasingly based on technology and automation

  • 19%
  • 32%
  • 19%
  • 5%
  • 25%

Policymakers in Washington have the expertise to develop laws governing an economy increasingly based on technology and automation

  • 13%
  • 19%
  • 26%
  • 19%
  • 22%

Policymakers in Washington understand an economy increasingly based on technology and automation

  • 11%
  • 22%
  • 29%
  • 17%
  • 22%

And majorities support public-private collaboration when it comes to drafting legislation that governs the changing economic landscape.

When it comes to writing rules and regulation, do you believe policymakers should:

Yes, they should
No, they should not
Don't Know / No Opinion

Work with businesses that operate in the new economy

  • 61%
  • 14%
  • 25%

Draft legislation that considers the impact of technology on the economy

  • 53%
  • 18%
  • 29%

Work with businesses in the tech industry, but let the private sector drive the solution

  • 49%
  • 20%
  • 31%

Strong majority of adults say new economy workers are independent contractors, rather than company employees.

Which statement best describes your view of the people who work for a new economy company such as Lyft, Uber, HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb, Postmates, Instacart, or TaskRabbit?

They are employees who work directly for the company

  • 16%

They are independent contractors who work for themselves and use the service/app to connect to potential customers

  • 55%

Don't Know / No Opinion

  • 29%

Adults overwhelmingly recognize the positive impact new economy employment has on workers in need of a flexible work environment, especially students and those unable to find traditional employment.

Now, thinking about American workers, do you believe the new economy has a positive or negative impact on each of the following? Individuals who are:

Positive impact
Negative impact
Don't Know / No Opinion

Students in need of income

  • 58%
  • 21%
  • 21%

Unable to find traditional employment

  • 58%
  • 21%
  • 21%

Needing to earn income quickly

  • 57%
  • 19%
  • 23%

Looking to supplement their income

  • 57%
  • 20%
  • 22%

Wanting to be self-employed

  • 55%
  • 22%
  • 23%

Part-time workers in need of extra income

  • 52%
  • 26%
  • 22%

Looking for work with flexible hours

  • 52%
  • 24%
  • 24%

And, job opportunities in the new economy are overwhelmingly seen as a social safety net that allows individuals to earn income when they are in need.

Do you believe job opportunities in the new economy, which includes companies such as Lyft, Uber, HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb, Postmates, Instacart, or TaskRabbit, provide an additional social safety net that allows individuals to earn income when they are in need, or not?

54%
Yes, they should
15%
No, they do not
31%
Don't Know / No Opinion

Despite recognition of flexibility and positive work experiences, pluralities say new economy opportunities do not provide job security or employee benefits.

Thinking more about the new economy, which includes companies such as Lyft, Uber, HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb, Postmates, Instacart, or TaskRabbit, do you think the following statements describe the industry well or not?

Yes
No
Don't Know / No Opinion

Workers who work for new economy companies have the flexibility to work as much or as little as they would like

  • 56%
  • 15%
  • 29%

The new economy provides workers with a positive experience

  • 41%
  • 19%
  • 41%

Services provided by new economy companies are reliable

  • 38%
  • 23%
  • 39%

Peer-to-peer economy companies are trustworthy

  • 32%
  • 25%
  • 43%

Peer-to-peer economy companies care about their workers

  • 27%
  • 30%
  • 43%

Workers that work for new economy companies have strong job-security

  • 24%
  • 41%
  • 36%

The new economy provides workers with the same health care and other benefits as a traditional job

  • 20%
  • 42%
  • 37%

Majorities say they are more likely to use a company’s service if it offered benefits to their workers.

If companies in the new economy, such as Lyft, Uber, HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb, Postmates, Instacart, or TaskRabbit, did each of the following, would that make you more or less likely to use the companys services, or would it make no difference either way?

Much more likely to use that company’s services
Somewhat more likely to use that company’s services
Somewhat less likely to use that company’s services
Much less likely to use that company’s services
Would make no difference either way
Don’t Know / No Opinion

Offered health insurance to workers

  • 34%
  • 22%
  • 6%
  • 2%
  • 18%
  • 18%

Offered workplace training or career/skill development to workers

  • 32%
  • 25%
  • 6%
  • 3%
  • 17%
  • 18%

Offered employee benefits, such as paid time-off or maternity/paternity leave to workers

  • 32%
  • 23%
  • 5%
  • 4%
  • 18%
  • 18%

Classified workers as employees of the company

  • 27%
  • 25%
  • 6%
  • 3%
  • 19%
  • 20%

One in three (33%) are say they’re willing to pay at least 10% more for a company’s service in order to provide workplace benefits, though one in four (24%) would not be willing to pay more at all.

If companies in the new economy did expand worker benefits how much more would you be willing to pay for that company’s service? For example, how much more would you pay to ride in an Uber or accept a food delivery if that driver or delivery person were offered health insurance or workplace classification?

5% more

  • 16%

10% more

  • 17%

25% more

  • 9%

50% more

  • 7%

75% more

  • 3%

100% more

  • 2%

I would not be willing to pay anymore

  • 24%

Don’t Know / No Opinion

  • 23%