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FEATURING JESSICA BRUDER – You’ve heard of the so-called “gig economy,” where American workers are now increasingly free lancers working a few hours here, a few hours there as part timers or independent contractors for companies like Uber, Taskrabbit, etc. Now, a new book called Nomadland shines a light on a little-known but growing trend in the US labor force: workampers.

Workampers are mostly American retirees who find they cannot make ends meet and pay their rent or mortgages on their Social Security and pension checks, so they live life on the road in RVs and campers, driving to where the work is and camping overnight in parking lots and campgrounds.

Companies like Amazon, recognizing the phenomenon as a boon to their bottom line have taken advantage of these “workampers.” In fact Amazon has created a program especially for them called Camperforce where dedicated workers who don’t demand benefits show up just for the busy season and then drive off.

For information about Jessica’s book tour visit

NOTE: This is the Extended version of this interview, available only to our subscribers, or to rent or buy.

Jessica Bruder, award winning journalist whose work focuses on subcultures and the dark corners of the economy. She teaches at Columbia School of Journalism and her earlier book was Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man. Her new book is Nomadland: Surviving America In the Twenty First Century.

**This interview was originally broadcast on October 12, 2017.

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