Gig economy predictions say it is on pace to meet or exceed many of the numbers projected for it in 2018, and everyone, from boomers to Generation Z, is getting in on the action. The gig economy is made up of freelancers and contractors who do everything from driving for Uber or Lyft to managing large-scale software rollouts. For many gig workers – approximately 44 percent, according to late-payment directory service brodmin – contracting is their primary source of income.
During Covid, many workers were homebound and caring for children and family. Some pivoted to contract work due to the flexible schedule. As remote and hybrid work continued for some post-Covid, this meant they needed to continue seeking out contract and freelance work. People who had finally gotten a taste of a satisfactory work-life balance weren’t ready to let it go. According to the 2021 MBO Partners State of Independence study, the number of independent workers grew an unprecedented 34 percent year over year, increasing from 38.2 million in 2020 to 51.1 million in 2021.
The additional contract workers have been key for businesses that have had trouble filling traditional full-time positions post-”Great Resignation.” Contractors are able to work for a specified time, fill holes in employment gaps and be plugged in and out as necessary to support a company’s projects and mission. The Biden Administration’s jobs numbers indicate that unemployment has continued to edge down, and now sits at 3.5 percent. With the country having added 528,000 new jobs in July, contractors will become even more valuable to organizations struggling to hire from an otherwise shallow labor pool.
Generation Z and Gig Economy Predictions
Currently Generation Z makes up 21 percent of the gig workforce, and with more “Zoomers” set to enter the workforce in the coming years, it’s expected that their percentage of the overall gig economy will increase to meet or exceed the 25-34 age group, which currently makes up 48 percent of the gig economy.
Members of the younger workforce have been shown to deeply value doing work they consider to be meaningful, and many will be eager to take contract positions (perhaps even short-term or low-hours side gigs) in fields about which they are passionate. Work-life balance, remote work and the flexibility of gig work will also continue to draw Zoomers into contracting. With a talent cloud such as PeopleCaddie, these workers will be able to move through assignments and begin building a body of work from the outset of their careers.
Gig Economy by the Numbers
A key statistic in the measurement of gig work regularly shows a significant uptick each year since 2018, according to research by brodmin and data provided by Mastercard. By 2023, the gig economy is set to top $455 billion, an average of 17.4 percent growth year over year since 2018. The number of gig workers is expected to grow from 57 to 86 million by 2027.
The gig economy will only continue to grow, providing more opportunity for workers willing to embrace independent contracting. Workers want the flexibility freelancing has to offer, and employers need the help. To connect with quality, vetted contractors with complete employment histories, skills assessments and ratings from prior contracts, consider joining the PeopleCaddie network today.
Looking for more insight on the Gig Economy? Check out PeopleCaddie’s blog.