53+ Latest Gig Economy Statistics and Trends [2024]

October 24, 2023 0 Comments

Hate the 9-5 grind?

Why don’t you become a part of the gig economy

The gig economy is a labor market where companies hire freelancers and independent contractors for short-term projects.

This contemporary work model has gained popularity in the last decade thanks to technological advancement.

The global gig economy generates about $204 billion.

More than 60% of full-time employees want to switch to gig jobs.

How popular is the gig economy?

Find out with these gig economy statistics: 

Top Gig Economy Statistics: Editor’s Pick

  1. Before the pandemic, about 57.3 million Americans were part of the gig economy. [1]
  2. In 2023, the volume of the gig economy is expected to reach 455.2 billion U.S. dollars. [2]
  3. The number of freelancers is estimated to reach 86.5 million by 2027. [3]
  4. The number of US workers in the gig economy increased by 15% in the last decade. [4]
  5. The global gig economy is expected to grow by 17% by the end of 2023. [5]
  6. 63% of full-time gig economy workers say that gigs are their primary source of income. [6]
  7. Almost 90% of Americans are considering freelance work or independent contracting. [7]
  8. The highest-paying gig economy fields include AI, blockchain and robotics. [8]
volume of gig economy

Growth of the Gig Economy

The growth of the gig economy has been one of the most significant developments in the global labor market in the last decade. 

Check out these statistics to understand the growth of the gig economy.

How many gig workers are there?

There are about 1.1 billion gig workers worldwide. [9]

In 2020, 2 million new gig workers emerged in the US.

According to Statista, 86.5 million Americans will be freelancing in 2027. They will make up 50.9% of the total U.S. workforce. [10]

The gig workforce grew by 35% in 2021. [11]

22% of the US working population is self-employed or freelancers in their primary or secondary jobs. [12]

How much do gig workers make?

The percentage of gig workers earning more than $100,000/year increased by 62.96% in the last decade. [13]

55% of gig workers report that they make under $50,000 per year. [13]

 38% of workers earn $10.00 to $14.99/hour. [14]

14% of workers earn less than the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. [14]

Here are some insights into the hourly wage of gig workers:

hourly wage of gig workers
Hourly Wages % of Gig Workers
Less than $7.2514%
$7.25 to $9.9912%
$10 to $1438%
$15 to $2024%
$21 or more13%

Impact of COVID-19 on gig economy

In 2020, 23 million people joined the pool of gig workers in the US. [15]

According to a report by Microsoft, gigs in the tech field gained popularity between February and May 2020. [16]

A survey by Upwork revealed that 75% of people started freelancing to gain financial stability during COVID-19. [17]

52% of gig workers lost their jobs due to the pandemic globally.  26% had their hours decreased. [18]

Gig Economy Statistics by Demography

Do age, gender, and other demographic factors affect the gig economy?

Let’s find out through these gig economy statistics.

Impact of gender on gig economy

Men are 72% more likely to be a part of the gig economy. [19]

About 31% of men have made money through the gig economy at some point, compared to 18% of women.

Women earn 10.5% less than their male counterparts in the gig economy. That’s an average of 82 cents for every dollar a man makes. 

According to the 2021 State of Gig Work report from Pew Research, 17% of women and 15% of men have earned money through gig platforms.

Age and gig economy

Gigs are more popular among younger adults in the US.

30% of Gen Z and Millennials were part of the gig economy at some point. [20]

38% of gig workers belong to the age group of 18-34. [19]

25% are 35-54 years old

age group of gig workers

11% are above the age of 55.

Less than 10% are older than 65 in the gig economy. 

According to McKinsey, 50% of Gen Z employees are freelancers. [20]

47% of millennials consider themselves freelancers.

These numbers show that freelancing is highly prevalent among Millennials and Gen Z.

Global gig economy

The gig economy is predicted to reach $455.63 billion by 2030. [21]

According to data from the International Labour Organization, the percentage of independent workers in low-income economies is 80.3. [22]

Niger had the highest rate of self-employment in the world in 2019. [23]

Here are the percentages of self-employed workers around the world:

Country% of Self-Employed People
Niger95%
India76%
Senegal64%
Colombia50%
China45%
Greece32%
UK16%
Japan10%
US6%
UAE5%

Gig economy by industry

3 in 4 workers in the arts and design industry are self-employed, making it the sector with the highest proportion of freelance workers in the US. [24]

Check out the list of industries with the highest number of freelancers:

freelancers by industry

What Is Employees’ Take on the Gig Economy?

The gig economy has become a crucial aspect of the modern workforce. However, the implications of this shift have been met with mixed reactions from employees.

Here are some statistics on employees’ opinions on the gig economy

What motivates gig workers?

According to the Pew Research Center, 56% of gig workers take up gig work to save extra money. [25]

60% of gig workers say they enjoy working independently due to the flexibility it offers. [26]

39% want more free time. [27]

34% of workers want more control over their schedule.

63% of full-time employees have expressed their desire to work independently if given the opportunity.

79% of full-time gig workers say they’re happier working independently than at a traditional job.

69% say gig work is better for their health.

Increasing adoption of digitalization, changing work preferences, and rising inflation are other factors that contribute to the growth of the gig economy. 

What are the challenges in the gig economy?

  1. 45% of full-time gig workers have a high Economic Anxiety Index score. [28]
  2. 54% of gig workers don’t have access to employer-based benefits.
  3. Unexpected expenses of $1000 are difficult to pay for 80% of full-time freelancers.
  4. 63% of full-time gig workers withdraw funds from their savings at least once per month.
  5. 60% of gig workers don’t have alternative employment because they don’t want or need one.
  6. Only 40% of employees have employer-based coverage for health insurance. 

What Is the Future of the Gig Economy?

According to the World Economic Forum, between 2023 and 2027, over 75% of organizations will adopt technologies such as big data, cloud computing, AI, and digital platforms. [29]

future of gig work

Gig workers need to update their skills to survive in the tech-integrated markets. 

50.9% of the total U.S. workforce will be gig workers by 2027. [30]

There was a 27% increase in the number of freelancers who made over $100k+ in 2022. [26]

Blended teams are more common in today’s workplace. Freelancers may find themselves working alongside full-time employees more often in the near future. 

FAQs About Gig Economy

What are some examples of gig work?

  1. Driving for a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft
  2. Delivering food (e.g., DoorDash, Uber Eats)
  3. Providing customer service through Upwork and Fiverr
  4. Writing or editing content through platforms like Upwork, Textbroker or Freelancer.com
  5. Designing or developing websites or apps (e.g., 99designs, Toptal)

What are the benefits of gig work?

  1. Flexibility: Gig workers can set their own hours and work as much or as little as they want.
  2. Autonomy: Gig workers are their own bosses and can choose the projects they want to work on.
  3. Variety: Gig work can offer different tasks and projects, which can help keep workers engaged.
  4. Potential for higher earnings: Gig workers can potentially earn more money than they would in a traditional job.

What are the challenges of gig work?

  1. Irregular income: Income can fluctuate from month to month.
  2. Lack of benefits: Gig workers typically do not receive benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, or retirement contributions.
  3. Limited job security: Gig workers can be easily replaced if they do not meet the expectations of their clients.
  4. Competition: Gig workers often face competition from other workers for projects.

Is the gig economy growing?

Yes, the gig economy is growing rapidly. 

In the United States, it is estimated that there are over 57 million gig workers, accounting for 36% of the workforce. 

What are the implications of the gig economy for the future of work?

The gig economy might have a significant impact on the future of work

As more and more people turn to gig work, the traditional employer-employee relationship is likely to change. 

Employers might rely more on gig workers to meet their staffing needs. This could lead to a more flexible and fluid workforce.

Summary

The gig economy offers individuals flexibility, autonomy, and the potential to earn a living from their skills and talents. However, it also presents challenges such as irregular income, a lack of benefits, and limited job security.

As the gig economy continues to grow, it is important to know the latest statistics and trends. This will help policymakers develop new frameworks to ensure that gig workers have access to the same benefits as traditional employees. 

Check out our website for more statistics on the latest topics.

Sources

  1. Forbes. 57 Million U.S. Workers Are Part Of The Gig Economy
  2. Statista. Gig economy projected gross volume 2018-2023
  3. Fast Company. Why are so many people freelancing?
  4. CNBC. Gig economy grows 15% over past decade: ADP report
  5. Entrepreneur. Gig Economy the Big Picture, 2023 Outlook
  6. Business Wire. Gig Work Becomes Primary Source of Income for Majority of Workers, Providing Financial Security Amid Turbulent Economic Time
  7. Resource Management Institute. The Rise of the Flex Workforce
  8. Staffing Industry Analysis. Highest-Paying Gig Economy Fields Include AI, Blockchain and Robotics Fields
  9. Forbes. Will The Gig Economy Become The New Working-Class Norm?
  10. Statista. Number of freelancers in the United States from 2017 to 2028
  11. Forbes. How COVID-19 Has Transformed The Gig Economy
  12.  McKinsey & Company. INDEPENDENT WORK: CHOICE, NECESSITY, AND THE GIG ECONOMY
  13. Statista. Gig economy in the US
  14. Economic Policy Insititute. National survey of gig workers paints a picture of poor working conditions, low pay
  15. Business Wire. daVinci Payments’ Study Shows Boom in the Gig Economy and How to Attract Gig Workers and Grow Their Loyalty
  16. Microsoft. The Gig Economy in Times of COVID-19: Designing for Gig Workers’ Needs
  17. Upwork. Freelance Forward 2020
  18. Statista. Share of gig economy workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as of March 2020, by impact
  19. The Lilly. Women make less in the gig economy. A new study asked why.
  20. McKinsey & Company. Freelance, side hustles, and gigs: Many more Americans have become independent workers
  21. PRNewswire. The “Transformative Trends Shaping the Gig Economy” report
  22. The World Bank. Self-employed, total (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
  23. Statista. Where People Are Self-Employed Around the World
  24. Exploding Topics. Number of Freelancers (2023)
  25. Harvard Business Review. What Motivates Gig Economy Workers
  26. MBO Partners. Independent Workers Outperform Other Workers in Achieving Life Goals
  27. Upwork. Freelancers Union and Upwork release new study revealing insights into the almost 54 million people freelancing in America
  28. Brodmin. Gig Economy – The Economic Backbone of the Future?
  29. World Economic Forum. The Future of Jobs Report 2023
  30. Forbes. Freelance Economy 2.0

Rate this article:

Average rating 4.8 / 5. Vote count: 34

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.