A closer look at the gig economy
Gig economies are market systems where businesses can hire independent workers or freelancers to perform specific tasks. The term came from artists and musicians who get paid for a single job, appearance, or work that we call gigs. In gigs, individuals can take multiple offers and exercise their freedom. However, it may be a struggle if the proposals are not constant, unlike a full-time worker.
More on the gig economy
People who work in the gig economy generate income from short-term agreements to perform singles tasks and jobs. For example, people commission artists to create a single painting to give as a gift to their special someone. Online sellers also take part in the gig economy.
A gig worker’s income varies every month, unlike those who work with full-time jobs where pay is constant. It is a collective of all the gigs accepted in a period.
The gig economy is becoming more popular, especially in today’s modern world, since it has been more comfortable. Companies like Uber, Grab, and Amazon operate with technology like handheld phones and the internet. It makes remote work possible.
Gig economy numbers
Let’s go through the Gallup Workplace report to see the statistics of people in the gig economy. In 2018, 36% of American workers accepted gigs. American workers with alternative jobs are 29%. Furthermore, 24% work full-time, and 49% are part-time workers. There is 36% of people who already work multiple jobs and still accept gigs.
In short, we are looking at an estimated 57 million Americans who worked for the gig economy. The Pew Research Center is expecting the gig economy to become even more massive in the future when mobile phones become more and more recognized by people of all ages to trade products and services.
Advantages and disadvantages of the gig economy
From an employer’s point of view, gig workers are beneficial to a company since they won’t have to pay extra money for training and benefits. However, it might not be the same point of view for freelance workers. Why?
Several advantages come with the gig economy. One is flexibility. Freelancers can customize the amount and type of jobs they do at their convenience. There is a balance in social and work life. Next is independence. One can work remotely without pressure. Also, gig works can be versatile. It may benefit a person who excels in more than one area of work.
On the other hand, the gig economy also has a lot of downsides. There is minimal pay if the worker does not accept multiple gigs. Unlike most full-time jobs, gig workers do not receive any benefits like health and retirement unless they apply for themselves.
Also, they need to pay taxes themselves, and they must put aside 25% to 30% of their earnings to avoid owing the IRS. Gig workers provide for all the equipment and devices that they will need in their work. Finally, it may be draining to always look for gigs or someone who might give them a gig. Pay is not constant and flowing.