Recent Gig Economy Statistics for This Year

The post-pandemic gig economy has provided millions of independent workers the ability to earn extra cash. What does gig economy growth look like for this year?

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By Donna Wright 4 minute read

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Gig Economy Statistics

According to Forbes, the U.S. unemployment rate has reached 4%. The post-pandemic socio-political climate has made working conditions more unstable than ever for many, and for this reason, many people have turned to the gig economy. Full-time freelancers are more common than ever and, depending on the gig platform they use, they can make good money.

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What Is the Gig Economy?

The gig economy is a labor market that primarily centers around short-term and part-time contracts rather than long-term, full-time jobs. Many of the gig economy workers in the U.S. workforce are millennials seeking extra income, of course, but there are people from all demographics involved as freelancers and independent contractors. Some of the most common gig economy jobs are:

  • Food delivery
  • Rideshare driver
  • Pet sitter
  • Personal shopper
  • Virtual assistant
  • Freelance writer

Though most people think of part-time workers earning extra money with companies like Lyft and Uber, the gig economy also contains skilled independent contractors, seasonal workers, and those who have work-from-home jobs. While these jobs were previously listed as side jobs, there are a growing number of U.S. workers who now undertake this kind of independent work as their primary source of income. Unlike traditional employment, this type of work does not always require a traditional resume. In some cases, a portfolio may be more useful.

Essential Gig Economy Stats: What You Need to Know

Here are some key statistics about the global gig economy and gig workforce to consider:

  • 31.36% of freelance workers report a decrease in demand for their skills and services in 2022
  • Massage therapy was the highest paying type of work in the US gig economy at an average of $27.84 per hour
  • 71% of respondents listed flexibility as a key reason for being a part of the gig economy
  • 39% of gig economy workers state that they have no retirement savings
  • 33% of gig workers report that they would like to transition to being traditional employees
  • 54% of government workers in the U.S. economy also have side gigs to make extra money
  • 55% of baby boomers in the gig economy don’t have medical insurance
  • The average gig economy worker lists 11 to 30 hours worked per week
  • There are currently 57.3 million freelancers and small business owners in the U.S. alone
  • Freelancers and gig economy workers are likely to be younger than non-freelancers with 38% of 8 to 35-year-olds self-reporting freelance work as being their primary source of income
  • 20% – 30% of American and EU workers report undertaking this type of work (gig, freelance, etc)
  • Mature economies have a lower rate of workers using online platforms for gig work than developing economies. The rate is 3% to 10% of the workforce in mature economies and as much as 30% in developing economies.
  • 1 in 5 full-time independent workers has international clients
  • 37% of full-time freelancers are under the age of 40
  • In 2018, 21% of full-time independents were classified as ‘high-earning’ ($100,000 per annum or more)
  • 71% of freelancers report that the share of work they gain from online platforms has risen over the last few years
  • 24% of gig workers (worldwide) are based in or come from India
  • India has emerged as the 3rd largest online labor market in the world today

As the labor statistics show, the gig economy is growing and has the potential to offer high earnings to those with the right skills. The gig economy is one of the largest and most complex labor markets right now, comprising people from all demographics and backgrounds. Fast-paced and ever-changing, it offers huge opportunities.

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FAQ: Gig Economy Statistics

Have questions? We’re here to help.

The most notable pros of working in the gig economy are:

Flexible working hours
The ability to earn extra money on an as-needed basis
No fixed salary (the more you work, the more you earn)
Be your own boss and set your hourly rate (in freelance roles)

The cons of working in the gig economy include:

Less social protection and job security in case of sickness or accidents
No perks e.g. health insurance, dental insurance, or pension provisions
No fixed salary (if you don’t work, you don’t earn)
Potentially poor work-life balance

The nature of gig work means that it can be hard to determine the average wage earned when compared to a traditional job. However, a study by MBO Partners found that 56% of gig workers felt more financially secure as freelance workers than they did in traditional work. According to Statista, the median income for American men in the gig economy is $653 per week.

If you want to be your own boss, freelance work arrangements can be very attractive, especially if you are interested in remote work. Some of the most common gig economy employers are:

  • Uber
  • Lyft
  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • Gallup
  • Airbnb

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Donna Wright Profile
WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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