Cable News Network Business (September 11 2019) has defined “Gigs” are as fundamentally short-termed or project-based work, and the “gig workers” are independent servicers hired to complete these pending work. The gig economy emerged from corporations who outsource professionals for temporary jobs, rather than hiring permanent positions. So in short, if you have ever been a temporary worker, a freelancer, or did any independent professional work, congratulations you have participated in the gig economy.
‘Gig Workers’ according to the Gig Economy Data Hub; a project by the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative and Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School, collects demographic data on gig workers. The experts have defined ‘gig workers’ as professionals on the supplemental basis who select work which pays particularly well, preferring flexibility and better time control. Other non-traditional work provide lower salaries which rely on it for their primary livelihood. So what is the catch? Gig workers do not possess the rights of permanent employees to enjoy, for example, minimum salary, overtime pay, paid sick leave, insurance or other benefits. Rather, Gig workers are expected to pay their expenses. But if you are a consultant, making a huge sum of money; this might be doable. However, if your primary work is a Grab driver or a Food Panda delivery person, this can be tough. Two of the world’s best Gig economy employers are Uber and Delivery.
So is the Gig economy a gateway to work of freedom or open to exploitation by employers and something government must overhaul? The gig economy is a freelance economy where workers take on a variety of part-time jobs but there is a catch. These workers often are deprived of traditional benefits. Freelancing is a common feature in the work industry among Western countries. According to the Roundtable Discussion 2018, 27 million of US employees are under the Gig worker category. 2.8 million British people worked under the Gig economy between 2017-2018 (that is about 4.5% of the total population), and their ages ranged between 18 to 34 years old (56%). Below are some interesting Gig Economy statistics:
- About 36% of US workers are now involved in the gig economy.
- US freelancers contributed $1.28 trillion to the American economy in 2018.
- 90% of freelancers think the industry has an even brighter future ahead of it.
- If the gig economy keeps growing at its current rate, more than 50% of the US workforce will participate in it by 2027.
- In 2018, US independent workers spent a billion hours per week freelancing.
- 42% of young people freelance.
There are several factors why this Gig economy continues to grow. Besides young workers preference, freelancing is much favoured over full-time employment because of the flexibility and independence it provides. Non-traditional employment, especially through leading gig economy websites, allows them to choose where, when, and for whom they work. Concurrently, companies can benefit from having a flexible workforce; they spend less money on training or recruitment, usually do not end up paying for any medical coverage, and can more easily replace their workforce if needed.