Kelly Evans: The YOLO Economy


I love it when people come up with a catchy moniker to describe a trend I've been struggling to articulate.  

What is it? The "YOLO economy." You Only Live Once, so why not take a chance on a new job right now? And it's more than just a new job--a new lifestyle that might just now be possible because of the pandemic. You can live in Oregon and do a job for Target corporate in Minneapolis, for instance. You can leave corporate altogether and be a freelance media producer with more work than ever thanks to the Instagram economy. You're not stuck with a job you hate because it's too hard to switch anymore.  

Kevin Roose has chronicled all this beautifully: "...dozens of stories poured into my inboxes, all variations on the same basic theme: The pandemic changed my priorities, and I realized I didn't have to live like this," he wrote in the Times yesterday. And the data back this up. Yelp says new business openings accelerated in Q1, and were only down slightly last year despite the pandemic. We've written here before about the surprising surge in new business filings last year. Here's an example of how that's playing out in Washington, D.C.  

We'll have more on this trend on Power Lunch today, with some data from LinkedIn that also speak to what's happening. Nearly two-thirds of job seekers are looking to switch either their industry or job function to find work, they've found, and more than half are open to going their own way by starting their own business or working freelance.  

Frankly, I think the YOLO economy has much bigger implications than just for people's work, as I've mentioned before--not least for schooling and education options (See "School's out for ever"). Just imagine if it all could make for a healthier, happier, more productive society. That's certainly the bull case.  

See you at 1 p.m!


Twitter: @KellyCNBC

Instagram: @realkellyevans

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