How Big is the Gig Economy? 10 New Gig Economy Statistics

Gig Economy Statistics

In recent years, the landscape of employment has been undergoing a significant transformation. The gig economy, characterized by short-term contracts, freelance work, and temporary positions, has emerged as a dominant force reshaping how we think about work. This shift is not just a fleeting trend but a fundamental change driven by technological advancements, evolving societal values, and economic factors. Let’s delve into what the gig economy is, why it’s growing, and what it means for the future of work.

What is the Gig Economy?

The gig economy refers to a labor market where traditional, long-term employment contracts are replaced by freelance, short-term, and temporary jobs. These gigs can range from ride-sharing and food delivery services to freelance writing, graphic design, and consulting. Platforms like Uber, Lyft, Fiverr, and Upwork have become the flag bearers of this new economy, connecting individuals offering services with those seeking them.

How many people are a part of it? 

Over 72 million Americans were represented as a part of the gig economy as of 2023. That’s roughly 45% of the entire US workforce. 

Who makes up the Gig Economy? 

Millennials and Gen Z represent 52% of the Gig economy. (33% Millennials and 19% Gen Z). The Gig Economy is not just a young person’s game – Gen X represents 29% of independent workers and Baby Boomers represent the remaining 19%.  

How often are they working? 

According to Statista Reseach Department, 56% of freelancers associated with the Gig Economy work more than one job. Also, almost 60% of these workers report working only 30 hours a week (Or less) 

How much are Gig workers earning?  

Gig worker earnings vary widely by industry and location. On average, full-time gig workers in the U.S. earn about $36,500 annually. However, this figure can fluctuate significantly depending on the number of hours worked and the type of gig with about 3.14 million of the full-time gig workers report earnings over $100,000.

What does the average independent contractor make? 

Did you know that Independent contractors make more than the median household income? The average income for a full-time independent is $68,300 while the median family household income is only $59,039. 

What does this mean for the economy overall?  

Forbes reports that freelancers contributed $1.27 Trillion to the US economy in 2023. This is major increase from roughly $700 Billion in earnings just one decade ago.  

Is the Gig Economy growing? 

The Gig Economy shows no sign of slowing down – Freelance work is continuing to find its way into new industries. In terms of the contractors themselves, they are happy with this new work arrangement. When polled, 78% of independent contractors said that they plan to keep working independently.  

The Gig Economy continues to thrive Post-Pandemic 

The Gig Economy got its initial uptick as a result of Covid-19. People were looking to become a part of the independent workforce as their full-time jobs. As we began to transition out of the pandemic, there was some uncertainty if this trend would continue. In the last 2 years, it’s been made very clear that the Gig Economy is here to stay. The trend has only gained more momentum and contributed more to our economy as a whole.  

What industries are involved? 

According to Statista, the largest employer of US gig workers is the government/public sector (14%). Others include: professional and business services (10%), education and health (10%), manufacturing (9%), construction (9%), financial activities (8%), information (8%), trade, transportation and utilities (7%), leisure and hospitality (6%), and tech (5%).   

What does this mean in terms of flexibility? 

One of the defining features of the gig economy is its flexibility. These workers enjoy the freedom to choose the work they want to do and where they want to do it. As a result of this flexibility, vast majority of these workers have decided to become contractors on their own accord, not out of necessity.  

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