The gig economy has been on the rise in the U.S. for years. You can be your own boss, set your own hours, and earn an income solely dependent on how hard you’re willing to work. You have more freedom to do what you want, but you lose the security of a traditional 9-5 corporate job. Despite this risk, the gig economy makes up an estimated 34% of the workforce in the U.S. and is expected to keep growing.
What is the Gig Economy?
The gig economy is a labor market that refers to the selling of an expertise or a service as an independent contractor. One example of this is Lyft drivers. They offer the service of driving people around and choose when they want to work. The amount they are paid is determined by how many rides they give.
What Started the Gig Economy?
Freelancers and independent contractors have been around for years. With the increase and availability of new technology their numbers have grown considerably. In 2008 during the financial crisis, unemployment sky-rocketed and forced many Americans to find new ways to earn money. From this need, new apps that allowed people easy entrance into service-based jobs started emerging. Apps, like Uber and Lyft, became popular overnight and spawned a trend.
Since then, more service-based apps have been created for a wide variety of tasks. Someone can deliver food to you from any restaurant, go grocery shopping for you, and drive you somewhere. The best part is that these apps are always looking to hire more people because majority of the workers do it as a side job. The workers can choose when they want to work and who they want to work with. This gives a lot of freedom to the workers.
How Gigs Became Successful
These gigs, that give their workers the freedom as if they are running their own business, promote success on both sides. The app itself is successful because people use and pay for it. The people working for the app follow the proper steps for success by design. If we use Lyft as an example, you aren’t forced into a specific schedule. You login when you want to work, and the app will direct you to customers, unlike taxies where you must look for customers. This is convenient for people looking for extra cash, but not another job. Lastly, there is no cost to enter the industry except for the time you put into it.
Expectations for the Future
We can assume more companies like Uber, DoorDash, and Fiverr will be created because of how successful these companies are now. This will cause freelance roles to become more prevalent and 9-5 jobs to be unappealing. Companies that are already struggling to fill job roles may face even more challenges as more people start to choose freelance jobs. However, having staffing solutions in place is a proactive way to adapt to what the gig economy may bring.