Who are the precariat?: Definition and explanation

The precariat

The Oxford Review Encyclopaedia of Terms

The precariat is a social class of people who comprise people who are in a state of precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security.  Precarity has been shown to affect both material and psychological welfare.

Modern day ‘gig economy’ workers, mainly freelancers without long term or permanent contracts and people on short-term and zero hours contacts are all considered to be precariat’s.

The precariat represents the closure of the cycle from industry replacing the artisan with manufacturing and office centres to the creation of artisan freelances that work into what used to be organisations. Drivers, writers, graphic designers, IT professionals and even chefs and personal assistants among literally thousands of other professions now operate outside the sphere of the organisation while directly influencing its trajectory. For the employer this means that there are cuts in costs as healthcare, sick and maternity pay, and other employee benefits don’t have to be met while getting a similar service out of the loose networks that it exploits to achieve the same aims it once had as a brick and mortar office block.

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