The gig economy has been defined as “A way of working that is based on people having temporary jobs or doing separate pieces of work, each paid separately.”
Essentially the gig economy involves working in a free market system as a freelancer, temporary contractor or doing standalone one-off jobs (or gigs) as opposed to having traditional full-time employment. It can also be a way for anyone to make extra cash in addition to their regular job. In 2018 the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. reported that 55 million people were gig workers more than 35% of the U.S. workforce and this number is expected to rise to 43% by 2020. According to Statistics Canada 2.18 million people were temporary workers in September 2017, including freelancers and contract workers. One of Canada’s biggest temp agencies reported that 20-30% of their workforce were temporary workers and 1 in 4 were freelancers.
Who Works in the Gig Economy?
Millennials like to work in the gig economy because it promises a greater work-life balance. For boomers and retirees are it brings in extra income without a major time commitment. Freelancers are often connected to work by websites and apps such as Handy, Linkedin and Task Rabbit.
The gig workforce includes highly skilled specialists and consultants from every industry but there are other jobs that will enable workers to make money fast without having specific skills. These include tutoring and teaching, ridesharing (Uber), delivery (Skip the Dishes) and renting out assets that you own (Airbnb).
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