Welcome back to another episode of Trendy Wendy’s Handy Dandy Guide to Marketing, where we help business owners just like you find the key to happiness in today’s marketing world. I’m Trendy Wendy, and this month we’re talking about the trend towards a gig economy in the United States.
For those of you who just joined us, the gig economy is a type of labor market in which the workers do short-term contracts or freelance work, rather than filling permanent positions within the company. When you think of gig economy workers, you might think of Uber drivers and Airbnb hosts who rent out their homes to guests, but today’s gig workers perform a variety of jobs. Some are even specialized workers who bring a great deal of expertise to a job.
The modern gig economy was essentially born with the invention of the internet. Craigslist launched in 1996, and created a way for individuals and small businesses to find someone to do odd jobs. Now, about 57 million people in the U.S. work freelance jobs, according to Forbes. That’s a lot of people jumping on the bandwagon!
Today’s Gig Economy Trends
There are more gig workers than ever before
Once considered the outliers of the employment world, more than one-fourth of all workers in the United States participate in the gig economy at some level, according to Gig Economy Data Hub. Freelancers might take independent gigs online or offline, and some do participate in the gig economy full time while others just dabble in it now and then for supplemental income.
The exact number of gig economy workers varies according to how you define the work that they do. Large-scale survey organizations, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) don’t usually ask about supplemental jobs, so they may not provide a true accounting of the number of gig workers.
Larger companies now hire freelancers
Hiring freelancers was once something only startups and small companies did, but now a growing number of Fortune 500 companies are hiring workers to fill non-core positions.
Wages for gig workers are rising
An astounding 40 percent of gig workers now earn a plump 6-figure income, according to the latest Gig Economy Index report from Pymnts. The average overall pay is about $58,000. That’s pretty fat stacks for someone who won’t commit to the 9 to 5!
Gig workers are important economic players
The Gig Economy Index report also estimates that gig workers accounted for more than $1.4 trillion of total U.S. income in 2018. This underscores the importance of gig workers to the American economy and workforce.
Gig economy workers are more specialized
The share of gig workers with specialized skills rose to 32.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, with a 12.2 percent over the previous quarter. The growth is likely due to a growing number of business, management and finance professionals seeking ad hoc jobs.
The number of gig workers without such specialized skills slid during the same period, dropping from 37.8 percent in the third quarter of 2018 to 34.4 percent in the fourth quarter. Pymnts attributed this decline to a decreasing number of people pursuing gig work because of its flexibility and an increasing number of people doing it for the fulltime work and higher incomes.
For more information on gig workers, or to hire a freelancer, check with WriterAccess. We have an army of qualified freelance writers and content marketers who can add their expertise to nearly any project you may have.
Thank you for listening to this month’s show. I’m Trendy Wendy for Trendy Wendy’s Handy Dandy Guide to Marketing. Join us next month, when we discuss this year’s hottest trends in paperclips.
Lynn H. has been writing humor for more than a decade and making people laugh for about nine and a half years – prior to that, she was only able to muster a few chuckles. She specializes in medical humor that makes both patients and doctors giggle but she also writes funny stuff for marketers, comedians and anyone else who likes to chortle now and again.