What is the "Gig Economy"?

By: Tiffany Wright, COO 

A recent study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 40 percent of American workers will be temporary employees or independent contractors. Between the entry of millennials into the workplace, and the rapid evolution of technology - the opportunity to work remotely and independently is not only becoming increasing more popular but easier to get into.

Although there’s not an official definition, Elka Torpey and Andrew Hogan, writers for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, state that a “gig” describes a single project or temporary task for which a worker is hired and works on demand. Gigs can be short term, temporary positions or self-employment arrangements, and often allow the worker more flexibility in location and time commitments.

Traditionally, creative, IT, general labor and construction jobs are known for being offered as an independent contractor relationship or freelance. However, any occupation where workers can be hired on-demand have the potential for gig employment. Global financial pressure on businesses to move towards greater production more efficiently while decreasing cost is a major influencer on this growing trend. Because of this, virtual workers are increasing in popularity.

Like any other job arrangement there are pros and cons to moving towards gig work. However, most desire flexibility, variety and the ability to focus on their interests. Working freelance can allow for that coveted “work-life” balance that more and more Americans are searching for. And, the current reality is that people change jobs more often than 40 or even 20 years ago. Regardless of your opinion on working freelance, temporary or independently, the trend is growing globally and here in America.