In 2020, the gig economy grew 33%. That is over 8 times faster than the US economy as a whole. Many are familiar with delivery drivers performing gig work, but there are numerous other industries in which gig work is prevalent. Home repairs, babysitting, disc jockeying, and dog walking are all jobs occupied by gig workers. 55 million Americans count themselves among the gig worker population.
The pandemic did not create gig work. It increased the pace of existing trends. Frustrated with high levels of pandemic employment, 2 million Americans tried gig work for the first time in 2020. Gig work avoids many of the formal structures imposed by typical employment. It is flexible, project-based work open to anyone at all times. In gig work, high school grads can earn as much as those with college degrees. The majority of gig workers work less than 30 hours per week. 70% also receive higher pay than their traditionally employed peers.
Gig work offers many benefits to businesses as well. Hiring by project allows for greater specialization and flexibility in hiring. Gig work is also not bound by many employment regulations, meaning red tape is averted. 4 in 5 US companies are planning to increase their use of gig workers. By 2027, over 86.5 million Americans will enter the gig economy.
How can people break into the gig economy? Look for openings on digital platforms. Consider what services are popular in the area and ensure your skills are a good match. Accept varied tasks to test your talents and gain experience before zoning in on one job description. Ask for reviews and ratings to increase visibility and reputation. Finally, watch out for platform fees and take rates. They can turn a good deal into a bad one if they go unnoticed.
Learn more about how the pandemic changed the gig economy in the infographic below:
Infographic Source: Wage