As full-time employment continues to shift toward more independent and flexible work, these gig economy statistics will show you that short-term contracts and online jobs are steadily growing. From graphic designers to Uber drivers, many people have left their conventional work searching for occupational freedom.
So, how does the gig economy growth for 2021 appear to be shaping up? Let’s find out!
The Top 10 Gig Economy Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- 40% of US workers earn a large part of their income through the gig economy.
- The percentage of freelancers in the US nearly doubled from 2015 to 2017.
- By 2027, over half of the workforce in the US will likely do some type of gig work.
- There are about 68 million freelancers and self-employed workers in the US.
- 51% of freelancers would not return to traditional work based on gig economy trends.
- 26% of Millennials believe the gig economy is more secure than conventional work.
- More than three in four freelancers claim that technology has made it easier to find a job.
- 34% of freelancers self-promote on Facebook.
- The size of the gig economy in Britain has more than doubled over the past three years.
- 52% of global workers in the gig economy have lost their job due to COVID-19.
How Big is the Gig Economy?
Gig economy statistics for the US indicate that approximately 68 million workers are a part of this free market system either as a side hustle or their primary source of income.
1. Data from a 2018 Gallup poll on the gig economy indicated 36% of the US workforce were independent workers.
Additionally, 64% of the workers claimed to be doing their preferred type of work. This Gallup gig economy stat included workers from all areas of nontraditional jobs, including (but not limited to) temp workers, online platform employees, freelancers, and contract nurses.
2. 40% of US gig workers earn a large part of their income through the gig economy.
Gig economy statistics from 2019 reveal that an estimated 40% of gig workers earn more than $100,000 per year. Professionals with specialized skills are making some serious cash in the gig industry. Additionally, many people earn an excellent living by balancing a traditional full-time job and driving an Uber.
3. The percentage of freelancers in the US almost doubled from 2015 to 2017.
Judging by these freelancing statistics, the US has been steadily increasing each year. Moreover, businesses are motivated to hire freelancers to meet the modern marketplace’s many challenges and reduce their labor costs, such as healthcare.
4. By 2027, over half of the workforce in the US will likely do some type of gig work.
According to the bureau of labor statistics on the gig economy, freelancers and gig workers contributed $1.4 million to the US economy in 2018. Overall, the freelance economy grew an impressive three times more rapidly than the whole US workforce.
5. Data on trends in the gig economy from 2018 recorded nearly 68 million freelancers or self-employed in the US.
The data also revealed that an estimated four million US citizens worked through gig marketplaces like Airbnb and Lyft. According to gig economy income statistics, these are usually part-time jobs that earn roughly $500 and $400 per month, respectively.
Job Satisfaction and Security
While the traditional corporate job usually comes with a weekly paycheck and a sense of job security, it often lacks flexibility. Below we’ll find out how this affects people’s decision to explore the world of gig work.
6. Over 50% of full-time freelancers feel more financial security than traditional job employees.
Despite the fact that medical coverage and job security tend to be major issues for independent workers, gig economy research shows that 7 in 10 full-time freelancers plan to continue their current independent work.
7. 50% of freelancers in the US claim that they wouldn’t go back to traditional work.
It seems that the rewards of being a part of the gig economy are enough to keep at least half of the industry’s workers satisfied. Some of the most significant benefits of freelancing include the freedom to choose clients, control of workload, and flexibility.
8. Gig economy stats revealed 84% of full-time freelancers in the US claimed they could work and still live their chosen lifestyle.
By comparison, only 63% of traditional workers from these 2018 gig economy stats claimed that their work allowed them to live their desired lifestyle.
Freelance economy statistics by Upwork show that 72% of freelancers have plenty of work, 92% expect work opportunities to rise in the future, and 90% strongly believe the best days have yet to come.
9. 26% of Millennials believe the gig economy is more secure than traditional work.
Gig economy job statistics from 2018 indicated that 18% of Gen Xers believed the same, compared to only 15% of Baby Boomers. However, the Boomers who worked in the gig economy were the generation with the most optimistic claims—feeling empowered and free!
10. One in six traditional workers want to become a freelancer.
According to research from 2016, 50 million workers in the US and Europe have freelancing jobs out of necessity. Moreover, 20 million of them rely on independent work as their primary source of income.
However, labor market statistics for the gig economy cited that for every freelancer that desired to be back at a traditional job, more than two traditional employees hoped to switch to independent work.
11. According to gig economy trends, 61% of independent workers do so by choice.
Upwork also revealed that the number of independent workers who freelance by choice is steadily increasing each year. The majority of these independent workers are from the younger generations and are full-time employees.
12. 71% of freelancers in the US do so for a flexible schedule.
These gig economy domestic workers statistics from 2020 are from a survey that involved 6,0001 participants 18 years of age or older.
Of those surveyed, 66% claimed to do freelance work to become their own boss, work from the location of their choosing, and gain control of their financial future. By comparison, 55% freelance so they can spend more time with their family.
Technology and Stats About the Gig Economy
Nowadays, most of us carry around a mini supercomputer in our pockets and purses. Therefore, we have a constant connection to global information and boundless opportunities. So let’s take a quick look at how this technology can help our careers.
13. More than three in four freelancers claim that technology made it easier to find work.
The majority of freelancers strongly believe that technology, especially platforms like Upwork, makes finding work simpler. Other popular gig economy platforms include DoorDash, Fiverr, Instacart, PostMates, TaskRabbit, UserTesting, and Outschool.
14. 34% of freelancers self-promote on Facebook, according to facts about the gig economy.
Data from 2020 displays that 74% of freelancers use social media websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Moreover, 28% of freelancers use LinkedIn to promote their work, and 21% use Instagram.
15. Facts about the mobile app gig economy indicate that 53% of young adults in the US used a mobile device to look for work.
(Federal Reserve Bank St. Louis)
According to 2019 research by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, US citizens between 18 and 29 are the most likely to use their smartphones to look for a job. Comparatively, only 28% of older adults would use their mobile device to find work,
Global Gig Economy Statistics
We’ve seen how the gig economy works in the US. Now, let’s observe how these stats compare around the world.
16. The gig economy in Britain has more than doubled over the last three years.
According to 2019 gig economy statistics in the UK, there were around 4.7 million gig economy workers in Britain. In other words, one in ten adults is currently engaged in the UK freelance economy.
17. The European Union is pushing for gig economy companies to implement more fair and sustainable workers’ rights.
Prompted by the vulnerability of Uber and Deliveroo drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic, The European Commission has promised to create new laws to ensure the respect, protection, and dignity of independent workers.
18. 97% of young people in India and Mexico are open to contract, freelance, independent, or temporary contractor work.
Gig economy research shows that countries with higher percentages of young Millennials (18 – 24) ready to enter the workforce are more inclined to do gig work. Other countries with a similar demographic are the US, Spain, Australia, Italy, and the United Kingdom (90-94%).
19. India’s gig economy is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17% to $455 billion by 2023.
Based on these gig economy statistics in India by ASSOCHAM, the future of the free market looks bright. Furthermore, FICCI, EY, and NASSCOM report that India’s economy is leading the global online labor market with a 24% share.
20. 52% of global workers in the gig economy have lost their job due to COVID-19.
A survey from March 2020 revealed that an additional 26% had their hours decreased. These unfortunate gig economy facts also show that 7% had to work from home. In comparison, only 6% reported that their work was not affected.
Is the gig economy growing?
Yes, it’s thriving in both the US and the rest of the world! Gig economy statistics presented by Global Workplace Analytics in 2020 show a 159% growth rate of remote work in the last 12 years and 44% in the past five years.
Furthermore, One-third of the world’s workforce is within this growing industry, and experts predict that in the US, 60% of all workers will be independent by the year 2027.
How big is the US gig economy?
There are so many types of independent workers in the US that it’s hard to pinpoint what constitutes a “gig” worker. But, the global consulting firm McKinsey claims there were approximately 68 million in 2018 and expects that by 2027 more than half of US employees will work in the gig economy.
Why is it called a gig economy?
The word gig has been most famously used by musicians as a term for a paid musical performance. However, the gig economy applies to all those working as contract workers, freelancers, or temporarily—one job at a time.
Is Uber part of the gig economy?
Yes, Uber is one of the many popular gig economy companies along with Lyft, GrubHub, Deliveroo, and Airbnb. Uber is a well-known company that offers food delivery, vehicles for hire, delivery of packages, couriers, and many other services.
What are the benefits of the gig economy?
One of the most significant benefits for workers of the gig economy is the flexibility it offers. For instance, this type of job makes it possible for people to work remotely, pursue a passion project, and the potential to travel more.
According to trends in the gig economy, freelancers have more control over their workload. As a result, they’re more independent than traditional workers and tend to create a more enjoyable work environment for themselves.
Overall, these gig economy statistics show a substantial growth of independent work in the US and globally. Moreover, these figures seem to add up, considering that the gig economy offers many advantages over traditional jobs, and most people enjoy the idea of being their own boss.
So, If you’re interested in becoming a freelancer or you’re already a part of the gig economy—feel free to leave any questions or advice for other aspiring freelancers in the comment section below.