May 14th, 2020 2:12 PM by Eric Willner
The Real Estate Show Asks: So How Big Is The Gig Economy?
Scroll down and see (From a recent article appearing in Fortunly.com):
(Small Business Labs; Gallup)
This is number comprises around 57 million Americans. It’s not just multiple job holders; for 29% of US workers, their primary job is actually an alternative work arrangement. Of these, 23% full-time workers and 49% work part-time.
The percentage of people leaning towards the gig economy is high in the States, but the situation is similar in emerging economies as well. In India and Mexico, 97% of people are open to freelance, contract, temporary, or independent contractor work. In general, countries with a higher percentage of younger workers lean toward alternative working models.
In contrast, only 27% of regular workers believe they have a flexible job. Around 47% of independent gig workers are satisfied with their working hours, as opposed to 34% of workers engaged in on-demand jobs and gigs, and the same percentage of workers with traditional jobs.
A recent study found that around 41.8 million Americans are already pursuing independent work.
According to one survey from 2018, other top motivations are the “desire to choose when to work” (62% of respondents), the “desire to be (their) own boss” (49%), and the “ability to choose the most suitable projects” (46%).
Other reasons for choosing gig work are family concerns, eliminating commuting costs (both in terms of time and money), better productivity, avoiding office politics and distractions, a bad local job market, and health concerns.
There are numerous surveys examining the top motives for choosing freelance work. The percentages vary, but the main reasons for becoming an independent worker are very similar.
Only 28% of independent workers belong to Generation X (people aged 39 to 54).
The average annual income of full-time employees is $62,500, while for independent workers it’s only $36,500.
One of the reasons for such a large discrepancy is that gig workers work less on a weekly basis than traditional workers (25 hours a week versus 40 for full-time employees). This makes it difficult for American freelancers to manage their daily finances.
However, income levels improve with age. Millennial independent workers earn an average of $27,500, Gen Xers earn $36,300, and baby boomers $43,600. It’s interesting to note that the average baby boomer earns more than the average Gen Xer, despite the fact that the latter works longer hours.
(Gig Economy Data Hub)
According to data from 2017, only 10% of US contingent workers are African Americans. For people of Asian and Native American origin, these percentages are 7% and 2%, respectively.
In many instances, when a gig worker has access to benefits, it’s through a spouse or a professional association. Just 40% of independent workers have access to employer-sponsored medical insurance, while 25% have dental insurance, 20% have life insurance, and only 5% have access to short-term disability insurance.
On the other hand, 35% of Gen Xers and only 19% of baby boomers browse Facebook groups like Virtual Workers of America or gig economy websites such as Jooble, Upwork, Freelancer, and Upward careers to find work.
(Global Workplace Analytics)
When it comes to those engaged in remote work, the American workforce size increased by 40% between 2012 and 2017.
The other main industries in which US gig economy workers are employed are 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%). Other industries comprise the remaining 12%.
An independent study commissioned in partnership with Upwork and a leading freelance union suggests that freelancers generally place more value on skills training. In the study, 79% of respondents said their higher education was useful for their current work. Indeed, 70% of gig workers participated in some kind of training versus only 49% of full-time non-freelance workers.
Freelancers working in these industries earn approximately $115.06 and $87.05 per hour respectively. The other highest-paying gig economy jobs on the work market are in the fields of robotics ($77.46 per hour), ethical hacking – which means checking systems for potential security vulnerabilities ($66.33 per hour) – cryptocurrency ($65.37 per hour), Lambda coding for Amazon Web Services ($51 per hour), virtual reality ($50.18 per hour), react.js development ($40.75 per hour), Final Cut editing ($37.12 per hour), and Instagram marketing ($31.23 per hour).
This figure was obtained from a combination of surveys conducted by Intuit careers and LinkedIn.
Among the largest US virtual companies are AnswerConnect, InVision, Automattic, and Toptal. Large corporations are getting involved in the gig economy as well; according to Upwork’s data, more than 30% of Fortune 500 companies are using this platform to find talent. This is especially the case with non-core jobs such as marketing, human resources, procurement, manufacturing, and retail.
Major companies that are increasingly turning to freelancers include FedEx, Verizon, and the Bank of America.
(Virtual Vocations; Gig Economy Data Hub)
The criteria upon which the top states are determined are state-specific employment legislation, tax and health insurance requirements, professional licensing requirements, and time zone differences. The states mentioned above had the highest number of remote job openings in 2017.
When it comes to gig economy size on a state level, independent workers are more likely to live in urban areas, and there’s a higher concentration of them in western states, particularly California. Many online platforms were founded and now operate in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Gen Zers have a more positive attitude towards the gig economy than any previous generation. However, it’s refreshing to see that most millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers also think the gig economy can be a good thing.
This is approximately 72 million hours per week more than in 2015.
On the other hand, this applies to only 34% of full-time non-freelancers. It appears freelancers are generally more politically active than traditional workers.