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Alexandrea Ravenelle explored the dark side of the freelance economy in her book Hustle and Gig, which looked at the exploitation that many self-employed workers suffered in an emerging sector of the economy.

In her new book Side Hustle Safety Net: How Vulnerable Workers Survive Precarious Times (University of California Press), Ravenelle, an assistant professor of sociology at UNC-Chapel Hill, tackles the lack of a social safety net for freelancers, drawing on the lessons from the pandemic, when, for the first time, some of the estimated 60 million freelancers in the U.S. were able to tap into unemployment insurance in a significant way.