Gig economy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The gig economy is the economic system by which a workforce of people (known as gig workers) engage in freelance and side-hustle work.[1] The Internal Revenue Service defines the gig economy as "activity where people earn income providing on-demand work, services or goods", noting that the activity is often facilitated through a digital platform such as a mobile app or website and earnings may be in the form of "cash, property, goods, or virtual currency".[2] The digital platforms or marketplaces connect individual service providers directly to customers for a fee.[3] The term "gig" comes from the slang term for individual appearances by performing artists like musicians and comedians.[4]

Among the common types of digital platforms in the gig economy are those to provide ridesharing services, food or package delivery services, crafts and handmade item marketplaces, on-demand labor and repair services, property and space rentals.[2] A study completed in 2016 by Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger showed an increase in gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors of 50 percent between 2005 and 2015. These jobs accounted for 94 percent of all employment growth in the United States during those ten years.[5] As of 2021, 16% of all adults in the United States had earned income through the gig economy with higher levels of gig economy experience having accrued to younger demographics, according to the Pew Research Center.[6] As of 2017, 55 million Americans contributed services to the gig economy.[7] As of 2018, 150 million people were active in the gig economy in North America and Western Europe, according the Harvard Business Review.[8]

The size of the gig economy depends on how you define it and whose statistics you use. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the term "electronically mediated work" to represent "short jobs or tasks that workers find through websites or mobile apps that both connect them with customers and arrange payment for the tasks." A work published in September 2018 determined that such work accounted for 1.0 percent of total employment in May 2017.[9] At about the same time the Government Accountability Office stated that the definition and the data source variations support claims from below 5% to over one-third of the labor force engage in non-traditional employment.[10] According to Forbes the gig economy is a $1 trillion sector of the United States economy.[7]

Regardless of the definition used, the gig economy is growing. CNBC reported that during the 2010s decade, the gig economy grew by 15%.[11] Forbes describes the growth as "slow and steady".[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is the gig economy?". McKinsey & Company. August 2, 2023. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Gig Economy Tax Center". Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  3. ^ "Gig economy". Fair Work Ombudsman. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  4. ^ Reshwan, Robin (July 23, 2021). "What to Know About the Gig Economy". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  5. ^ Merrick, Amy (2018-04-04). "Walmart's Future Workforce: Robots and Freelancers". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  6. ^ Anderson, Monica; McClain, Colleen; Faverio, Michelle; Gelles-Watnick, Risa (December 8, 2021). "The State of Gig Work in 2021". Pew Research Center. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c Karra, Srikanth (May 13, 2021). "The Gig Or Permanent Worker: Who Will Dominate The Post-Pandemic Workforce?". Forbes. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  8. ^ Petriglieri, Gianpiero, Susan Ashford, and Amy Wrzesniewski (March–April 2018). "Thriving in the Gig Economy". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved November 30, 2023.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Electronically mediated work: new questions in the Contingent Worker Supplement". Bureau of Labor Statistics. September 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  10. ^ Jackson, Emilie, Adam Looney, and Shanthi Ramnath (June 2018). "The Rise of Alternative Work Arrangements: Evidence and Implications for Tax Filing and Benefit Coverage" (PDF). Retrieved November 30, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Iacurci, Greg (February 4, 2020). "The gig economy has ballooned by 6 million people since 2010. Financial worries may follow". CNBC. Retrieved November 30, 2023.

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