The gig economy is distorting U.S. economic data

Illustration of an employee badge and egg timer on a lanyard.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Online shopping and the gig economy haven't just disrupted traditional brick-and-mortar business, they're disrupting the way U.S. job growth, wage data and inflation are tracked, asserts a new paper from the Dallas Federal Reserve.

What it means: There has been an increase in the number of workers in the gig economy who are either working as contractors or are self-employed, but report themselves as employed. These workers often have less bargaining power and lower wages than full-time employees.

The low-wage benefit for U.S. companies is over

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A growing number of U.S. companies are saying higher wages weighed on first quarter profits or will have a negative impact in coming quarters.

Why it matters: As workers finally start to see pay increases, one of the biggest drivers of high profit margins is under threat and Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund, warns corporate profits that have fueled the stock market boom may be peaking.