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Gig economy

Gig-based work; income-earning activities outside of traditional, long-term employer-employee relationships (freelance work)

A gig economy is a job market based on work positions that are typically on-demand, independent, and on a short-term, per-project basis. Examples of gig employees in the workforce are freelancers, independent contractors, project-based workers, and temporary workers. Many gig economy roles are derived through an app platform that connects customers and businesses to workers; examples include Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, Thumbtack, Uber, Instacart, and AirBnB.

The benefits of a gig economy for businesses include being able to hire someone for a specific job with key skill sets, without having to supply benefits such as health insurance, disability insurance, sick leave, vacation time, and office space. It is estimated that two-thirds of major companies are using freelance contract workers to lower labor costs. The benefits for gig workers include flexibility in schedules, controllable work-life balance, the ability to work remotely, and the ability to earn extra income in addition to primary income sources.

A 2018 Gallup study titled "Gig Economy and Alternative Work Assignments" found that 36% of Americans workers participate in a gig work arrangement, for either primary or supplementary sources of income. Gig work is estimated to contribute to more than $1 trillion to the US economy annually.

There are currently no laws guaranteeing unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, paid time off, or employer-provided health care.

Insurance for gig economy employees

Gig economy work platforms


Further Resources


How The Gig Economy Is Reshaping Careers For The Next Generation

John Frazer


February 15, 2019

The Gig Economy | Patricia Romboletti | TEDxCentennialParkWomen


January 15, 2019

The Gig Economy Explained in One Minute: Definition, Job Examples (Uber, Fiverr, Freelancer), etc.


March 28, 2019

The Gig Economy to the Rescue

The Editorial Board


March 18, 2020


Samantha Leathers
August 13, 2021
WITH the current economic outlook, many people have given up on their goals of being entirely financially independent and debt-free in retirement.
Diane Mulcahy
October 3, 2019
Harvard Business Review
Full-time jobs aren't the only way to be successful.


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