These days it seems like everybody is talking about the gig economy. Although the Department of Labor has trouble quantifying the terms, media outlets are constantly focusing on the big stories.
What is missing however are the small stories. How is the gig economy affecting the industries without well funded upstart corporations? How do these changes affect people in other jobs?
Here are eight industries indirectly impacted by the gig economy, and why they matter.
One of the most interesting changes occurring with gig economy transition is where work takes place. Whereas most full-time employment happened at a workplace, gigs are often worked from home. Accordingly, parents increasingly find the need for daycare unnecessary.
Why pay someone to watch your young children when you can work from home? Your salary becomes both the amount you are paid and the amount you save from daycare.
2. Automotive Sales
Most people who buy cars regularly drive to work. There are students that need cars to get to class. Those cars, however, are purchased by people working full-time jobs, or students working in addition to school. There are also a number of wealthy people buying cars just for fun.
As more people fund their lives by gigs, fewer people need vehicles for everyday travel. That means an eventual decrease in the demand for auto sales.
3. Automotive Repair
This one gets complicated. On the one hand, the gig economy means fewer people need vehicles. That should mean a reduced need for repair shops.
However, the remaining drivers will likely see an increase in miles. Whether public or private transportation services, a growing number of vehicles will be in the transportation industry. That may have a radical impact on the way automotive repair shops work now.
This one is not an industry, but it does feed city governments. Since the industrial revolution, people lived where the jobs existed. Most gigs, however, have a flexible living location. If you make your money online, why would you choose to live in a community that requires more taxes? People will not make that choice for long.
5. Real Estate
The real estate industry is based largely on where people work and attend school. The gig economy may remove the workplace from the equation.
Suddenly, parents only want to live where there are good schools. People without children may want to live where they have access to interesting venues. This may have interesting consequences for traditional suburbs vs urban real estate separations.
6. Moving Industry
Because people work from home, they are not stuck in one location because of the proximity to work. That means people are free to move around a metro area or even travel extensively.
As long as they have internet access, assignments can be completed from anywhere. People will naturally avoid accumulating too much stuff when they move more frequently. Movers may no longer be helping people move houses full of furniture. The job may become more about helping to move small apartments quickly.
7. Sales Industries
People living in large, stationary households have certain needs. As people move toward gig economies, they will need different products and services. Think about fewer power saws and more plywood furniture.
People living in apartments don’t need the tools to fix those apartments. They don’t need paint or hammers. They need something to organize their clothes that is easy to move. People who depend on sales may need to move to industries that are focused on the short term, mobile lifestyle.
8. Rental Agencies
When you know you will have a certain job in a certain city for decades, you think long term. People working for automotive companies in the 1960s were famous for buying summer homes and boats. They would often have multiple cars per family and houses full of furniture.
When you work in gigs, you think more in shorter terms. If I need a boat for the weekend, I rent a boat. If I need a car to drive on vacation, I rent a car. Rental agencies will potentially experience an increase in sales due to people making short-term purchases.
Here is why all these matter. The move from long-term living to short-term flexibility will require adaptation. The sooner we understand long-term trends, the better we can prepare for tomorrow. Success for the future means thinking like a person who values flexibility and experiences.
For those working in the gig economy, now is the time to prepare yourself. Learning to market yourself and budget your expenses will be vital. In fact, a genuine desire for never-ending learning will determine how easily you can move with the market as it changes.
Harold C. is a public relations expert with more than ten years of escalating experience performing all aspects of media and public relations, including, drafting press materials, brochures, reports, white papers, and training documents. Harold left the public relations field to study data analysis, so he is especially interested in contracts that explore both writing and data analysis tasks.