The freedom to work at your own pace, to set your own hours, and work as much (or as little) as you want, give ample incentive for many a gig worker; especially among the younger generations. And for good reason, too! With more than a third of US workers being part of the gig economy, statistics show that companies such as Lyft, Uber, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Freelancer, and many others like them, are growing and prospering. As a result, our team put together the most comprehensive list of stats on gig work on the internet to provide a glimpse of all the current and future trends in the industry.
Let’s start off with the most important stats first:
Top 10 Most Fascinating Gig Economy Stats
- 29% of workers in the US have an alternative work arrangement as their main job.
- 14% of gig workers work in the government sector.
- 43% of Millennial independent workers are either students or stay-at-home parents.
- 60% of independent workers felt they had more flexibility.
- 61% of self-employed workers get paid promptly and accurately.
- The asset sector will have a projected 133% GV growth in the next 5 years.
- Gig economy statistics show that the US contributed a whopping 44% in terms of the global gig economy.
- 60% of the US workforce will be independent by 2027.
- The gross volume of the gig economy will grow to $455 billion come 2023.
- A 513% year-on-year increase in new gig workers was reported in Japan since the coronavirus outbreak.
If these haven’t sparked your curiosity yet, nothing will! Continue reading to find out all there is to know about the gig economy including current trends, projected growth, and more.
Workers’ Opinions and Stats — Gig Economy Research
Let’s take a swift dive into the numbers. Who takes on gig jobs? How do people feel about gig work in general? Why did they start? Get real feedback from real workers.
1. 29% of workers in the US have an alternative work arrangement as their main job.
Of these, 24% are full-time workers, and 49% are part-time workers.
The Gallup gig economy report also notes that if they widen the scope to encompass all the workers that have any sort of connection to alternative work, such as those with more than one job, the percentage goes up to 36%.
2. 57% of male freelancers have a bachelor’s degree.
Nevertheless, the level of education seemingly plays a much smaller role when it comes to the general pay rate, seeing how high school graduates earn $22 (per hour), whereas those with bachelor degrees make slightly less — $19 (per hour), to be exact.
In addition, those with a postgraduate degree earn slightly more ($24 per hour) than high school graduates.
3. Gig economy statistics for 2018 reveal that 14% of US gig workers work in the government sector.
Of the 498 respondents, 12% said they worked in industries that weren’t listed, whereas another 10% worked in the professional and business services sector, as well as the education and health services sector (also 10%).
4. 43% of Millennial independent workers are either students or stay-at-home parents.
The vast majority (40%) of Millennial gig workers started doing independent labor gigs so they could have more time for themselves — working from home gave them just that.
Conversely, another 35% started with the desire to pursue their passion.
5. A Gallup poll on the gig economy revealed that 60% of independent workers felt they had flexibility.
On the other hand, just 38% of contingent workers felt the same.
What’s more, 47% of independent gig workers said they were satisfied with their work hours, whereas only 34% of contingent workers felt the same.
Overall, flexibility is one of the leading benefits of working as a gig worker, allowing for a better life-work balance.
6. Gig economy domestic workers statistics show that 61% of independent workers get paid on time.
This is the only aspect where traditional workers had a higher percentage (82%) over people with gig jobs. In short, traditional workers have increased personal financial stability and more insight on when they will get paid and how much.
7. 62% of the freelance work market in the Philippines is made up of female workers.
This puts the Philippines in first place for most female independent workers. The US follows suit with just 47% of female self-employed workers.
8. According to gig economy statistics for 2019, women make up merely 24% of the global gig market workforce.
The same is true for the current year.
Additionally, according to the World Bank Data from 2019, women make up just 39% of the total global workforce in general.
9. Translation services are in the lead with a 50% market share when it comes to female gig workers.
Other fields that have a higher than average market share of female gig workers include administrative positions (46%), content writing (43%), customer support (43%), and project management (36%).
Current Gig Economy Trends
Continue reading to see what is currently keeping the gig economy train going. As always, trends are ever-changing, though some constants may help us better understand this well-oiled machine.
10. The gig economy consists of four main sectors.
According to Mastercard, these are the following:
- Asset-Sharing Services — home/car/boat/P2P equipment sharing; Airbnb, HomeAway, TURO.
- Transportation-Based Services — carpooling, goods/restaurant delivery; Uber, BlaBlaCar, DOORDASH.
- Professional Services — microwork, tech/coding, design, translation/writing, SEO services, business work; Upwork, Catalant, Freelancer, and similar gig economy platforms.
- Handmade Goods & Misc — babysitting, handmade crafts, pet/home services; Etsy, Airtasker, Care.com.
11. Gig economy statistics for the US show that the country contributed a whopping 44% in terms of the global gig economy.
One of the main reasons behind this phenomenon is the fact that companies, such as Etsy, Upwork, Airbnb, and Uber, were founded on none other than US soil. Namely, these companies are responsible for driving the gig economy forward (so to speak), spearheading the entire sector in the process.
12. Global gig economy statistics indicate that the asset sector will have a projected 133% GV growth in the next 5 years.
Although the transportation sector remains firmly in the lead, the asset sector continues to bloom due to increased business travel and guest stays, as well as the increasing number of hosts participating in gig economy websites (think Airbnb) across the globe; recent trends in the gig economy suggest.
13. The average pay rate for independent workers in the 25–34 age bracket is $19 per hour.
This is also the most prominent age group when it comes to jobs for independent workers. Nevertheless, experience speaks for itself. The 55–64 age group makes up only a small percentage of the total workforce, yet they get paid the most — $36 per hour, to be precise.
14. Gig economy statistics show that 74% of gig workers use social media to promote their services.
This is an increase of 9% since 2018 when “just” 65% of gig workers used social media to promote their services; though, little did we know that Instagram would make such a significant jump. Currently, 21% of workers use it to promote their services.
Interestingly enough, promotion over Facebook and YouTube dropped by 1%, whereas for LinkedIn it increased by 2%.
15. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, MTurk gig economy workers get paid less than 20% of their production value.
Although MTurk is a popular site for on-demand jobs and gigs, it is painfully underpaid. The findings reveal that the market structure of MTurk is inefficient — it focuses more on the benefits of employers over those of the workers.
16. 67% of 25- to 44-year-olds exclusively work independently.
Many of them (33%) rely mostly on their traditional jobs, apart from gigs.
On the other hand, the 18–24 and the 55–64 age groups rely more on gig work, with 76% of them working only independently, whereas 68% of 45- to 54-year-olds relied on gigs exclusively.
Gig Economy Statistics — The Future (Growth)
What does the future hold for the ever-changing gig economy? Is it just a passing trend or an established industry? Continue reading to find out more.
17. A staggering 60% of the US workforce will be independent by 2027.
(Business 2 Community)
Projections indicate that with the current rate of growth, come 2021, freelancers and independent workers will outnumber the traditional workforce.
Further predictions reveal that, by 2027, companies will be spending as much as $6 billion on improving the rights of gig workers. Moreover, expectations are that the gig economy will be powerful enough to have an impact on the legislature and offer independent workers more rights and protection.
18. Gig economy facts also reveal that its gross volume will grow to $455 billion come 2023.
The gig economy is expected to grow by a 17.4% CAGR by 2023.
Numerous technological, economic, and societal trends are responsible for this phenomenon with the projected GV growth over the next five years being no less than 123%.
19. 40% of organizations plan on using more gig workers, in the next 5 years.
Increased expenses and the growing professional workers’ market are driving many organizations to expand their use of independent workers.
20. Gig economy statistics from 2017 marked a 2% growth during the 2014–2017 time period.
The figures are based mostly on Upwork and Freelance Union data.
Yet, it’s worth pointing out that different government sources (as well as from private organizations) can have conflicting numbers.
This is primarily because they have different views on who is considered a part of the gig economy (and who isn’t) and whether supplemental jobs are included.
21. Labor market statistics for the gig economy show 9.2 million people working in the industry by 2021 in the US.
Workforce Intuit researchers found that the number of gig economy workers in the US was growing fast.
In 2015, there were merely 3.2 million people working in the gig market. The current numbers and estimates tell a different story, however.
22. A 513% year-on-year increase in new gig workers was reported in Japan since the coronavirus outbreak.
Although numerous gig economy income statistics show that many independent workers are struggling to make ends meet, laid-off employees and those forced to take unpaid leave are looking for ways to pay the bills through on-demand jobs and gigs.
Consequently, one of the leading gig economy companies, PeoplePerHour, is reporting significant jumps in Japan (513%), Spain (329%), and the UK (300%).
What is the gig economy?
Simply put, it is a free market system. Companies and organizations contract independent workers either for short-term or per-project engagements. Gig economy workers can be freelancers, part-time hires, temporary workers, and independent contractors working in a variety of fields.
How many people work in the US?
As per gig economy job statistics from 2018, estimates show that 155.76 million people were employed in the US.
Of those, 44% were part of the gig economy. This number is expected to grow in the coming years when the majority of workers in the US will be part of the gig economy.
The current state of the gig economy may be questionable as the ongoing pandemic has gimped certain jobs/workers while boosting others. Nevertheless, it continues its upward trend as more people are on the lookout for alternative incomes during a time of crisis.
All in all, the above-mentioned gig economy statistics help paint a clearer picture of current trends and the future potential of the industry. And as if that wasn’t enough, predictions indicate that gig workers will outnumber traditional workers within the next ten years as more companies see the benefits of working with freelance professionals and gig workers.