Gig worker

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Gig worker means independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers[1] and temporary workers.[2] Gig workers enter into formal agreements with on-demand companies, for example Uber, TaskRabbit, to provide services to the company's clients.[3]


In the 2000s, the digitalization of the economy and industry was carried out rapidly due to the development of information and communication technologies such as the Internet and the popularization of smartphones.[4] As a result, on-demand platform based on digital technology has created jobs and employment forms that are differentiated from existing offline transactions based on accessibility, convenience and price competitiveness, the so-called Gig economy has become a focus.[4] In general, "work" is described as a full-time worker with a set working hours, including benefits.[5] But the definition of work began to change with changing economic conditions and continued technological advances, and the change in the economy created a new labor force characterized by independent and contractual labor, such as well.[5]

Present Condition[edit]

36% of U.S. workers join in the gig economy through either their primary or secondary jobs.[6] The number of people working in major economies is generally less than 10 percent of the economically viable population, according In Europe, 9.7 percent of adults from 14 EU countries participated in the Gig economy in 2017, according to the survey. Meanwhile, it is estimated that Gig Worker's size, which covers independent or non-conventional workers, is 20% to 30% of the economically active population in the United States and Europe.[4]

Difference between Temporary worker and Gig worker[edit]

The divide between independent and contingent gig workers points to the fundamental insight that there is much more to a job than the paycheck. Many factors go into a great job, and the best employers focus on the aspects of work that are most attractive to today's increasingly competitive and fluid labor force.[6] Traditional workers have long term employer- employee relationship in which the worker is paid by an hour or year, earning a wage or salary. Outside of that arrangement, work tends to be temporary or project-based workers are hired to complete a particular task or for certain period of time.[7] Coordination of jobs through an on-demand company reduces entry and operating costs for providers and allows workers’ participation to be more transitory in gig markets (i.e., they have greater flexibility around work hours).[3] Freelancers sell their skills to maximize their freedom, while full-time gig workers leverage platforms to level up their skills.[8]

Pros and Cons[edit]


Freelancers sell their skills to maximize their freedom, while full-time gig workers leverage platforms to level up their skills. Entrepreneurs bring their small-business dreams to the online world, and re-entry workers take advantage of both platform flexibility and structure to rebuild their lives after trauma.[7]

Gig worker has high levels of flexibility, autonomy, task variety and complexity.


Gig economy have raised some concerns. First, these jobs generally confer few employer- provided benefits and workplace protections.[5] Second, technological developments occurring in the workplace have come to blur the legal definitions of the terms "employee" and "employer” in ways that were unimaginable when employment regulations like the Wagner Act of 1935 and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 were written.[5]

These mechanisms of control can result in low pay, social isolation, working unsocial and irregular hours, overwork, sleep deprivation and exhaustion.[9]

Legal Issue[edit]

Employees receive W-2 forms from their employers, who are obligated to provide them certain benefits, to deduct payroll taxes, and are covered by minimum wage and anti-decimation laws. In many cases, temp-agency and subcontracted work is W-2 work, but the W-2 is issued by the contracting company rather than the company where the worker reports to work.[7]


Payroll taxes are not deducted, and neither party is covered by the same rules and regulations that apply to traditional employees.[7]


Large data shortfalls, but over the last 20 years, the number of people working at Gig work has been increasing.[10]

Continued advances in technology have the potential to increase Gig Work activity. Online technology has enabled new forms of work and they have the potential to continue to form a workplace and bring about changes in Gig's economy.

Most importantly, Gig Work's appearance is not an isolated trend, but is related to wide changes in the economy. Advances in globalization and technology put pressure on companies to respond quickly to market changes. Securing labor through nontraditional agreements such as Gig Work will enable companies to quickly adjust the size of their workforce. This can help companies increase their profits. From this point of view, the unconventional Gig work is a fundamental component of today's economy, and it is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.[11]



Gig Worker is spreading around the side job and delivery business. Kakao has hired drivers to build a system for proxy driving, and the people of delivery are meeting the surging demand for delivery through a near-field delivery called "Vamin Connect." There is a Gig work platform for professional freelancers, not just work. The platform, which connects those who want skilled professionals and those with skills, has access to 10 kinds of services, including design, marketing, computer programming, translation, document writing and lessons. However, "Gig Worker" is not yet very welcome in Korea. This is because many "Gig Worker" have conflicts with existing services and expose lack of social and legal preparation.[12]

United States[edit]

In the context of gig employment, nearly one-in-ten Americans (8%) have earned money in the last year using digital platforms to take on a job or task. Meanwhile, nearly one-in-five Americans (18%) have earned money in the last year by selling something online, while 1% have rented out their properties on a home-sharing site. Adding up everyone who has performed at least one of these three activities, some 24% of American adults have earned money in the “platform economy” over the last year.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Russel, Lia (16 January 2019). "The Silicon Valley Economy Is Here. And It's a Nightmare". Retrieved 19 January 2020. Many of those new low- and middle-income earners appear to be gig workers. Projections from the state Employment Development Department found that the fastest-growing occupations in San Francisco were taxi drivers, chauffeurs, couriers, messengers, and personal care aides. Exact numbers are hard to come by, because gig workers are often considered self-employed—and that very opacity plays into the hands of tech companies that aren’t particularly keen to shine a light on whether these new jobs meet fair labor practices.
  2. ^ Alvarez, Matt. "5 Things You Need to Know About the Gig Economy".
  3. ^ a b Donovan, Sarah; Bradley, David; Shimabukuru, Jon. "What Does the Gig Economy Mean for Workers?". Cornell University ILR School.
  4. ^ a b c Choi, Gisan (January 2019). "Global Gig Economy Status and Implications". International Economy Focus (in Korean).
  5. ^ a b c d Dokko, Jane; Mumford, Megan (December 9, 2015). "Workers and the Online Gig Economy". The Hamilton Project.
  6. ^ a b Pendell, Ryan; Mcfeely, Shane (August 16, 2018). "What Workplace Leaders Can Learn From the Real Gig Economy". Gallup.
  7. ^ a b c d "What is a gig worker?".
  8. ^ Hagan, Jean (September 2016). "IFTF: Voices of Workable Futures". Institute For The Future.
  9. ^ Wood, Alex; Graham, Mark (August 8, 2018). "Good Gig, Bad Gig: Autonomy and Algorithmic Control in the Global Gig Economy". Work, Employment and Society. 33(1): 56–75. doi:10.1177/0950017018785616.
  10. ^ "Freelancing in America: 2017" (PDF). Upward and Freelancers Union. Edelman Intelligence. 2017.
  11. ^ Weil, David (Dec 2019). "Understanding the Present and Future of Work in the Fissured Workplace Context". RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation to the Social Sciences. 5: 147–165.
  12. ^ "'새벽배송' 그것이 뭐시 문젠디!?···새로운 근로 패러다임, '긱 워커'와 '플랫폼 워커'가 뜬다" [What's Dawn Delivery? A New Work Paradigm, Gig Worker and Platform Worker is a Rising Sun]. Pressman (in Korean). 2019-04-02.
  13. ^ Aaron, Smith (2016-11-17). "The Gig Economy: Work, Online Selling and Home Sharing". Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech.