Human resilience and ingenuity are some of the most fascinating things about our species. It’s amazing to consider that although our basic needs have remained constant, our creativity in meeting those needs also constantly takes us to uncharted territory. This very fact is why it’s no surprise that, amidst the sharp, sudden changes that have befallen us since the COVID pandemic, our resilience has driven us to keep charging forward, creating new paths along the way. The gig economy is here to stay.
One of those new paths is the gig economy. Although gig work has been around long before COVID, the pandemic created a surge in this kind of work. As many businesses were forced to lay off employees, other opportunities for making money arose. Things such as the skyrocketing delivery demand, and demand for home services caused the gig economy to grow at a rate of 8.25x faster than the overall economy in 2020.
Today, there are 55 million Americans engaged in gig work, with an expectation for nearly 50% of Americans to have been involved in gig work at some point by 2027.
The appeal of gig work is easy to see. Although it isn’t full time employment, it does provide a flexible, self-made schedule. It’s project-based, and is open to anyone at any time. Gig workers report an overall better quality of life. Fifty-eight percent of gig workers report working less than 30 hours a week, yet the pay is greater than their traditionally employed peers.
As 4 out of 5 companies are planning to hire more gig workers in the near future, the opportunities are only going to increase. As we are still coping with the effects of COVID in every area of life, gig work is helping us to carve new paths to success, despite the challenges.