Various gig economy statistics reveal that gig workers have always been a significant part of the workforce. Truck drivers, musicians, content writers, photographers, developers, and all others whose income is project-to-project dependent can be included in this category.
The number of independent contractors, freelance, and part-time workers has increased, and these stats will help you gain an insight into how the gig economy works, why it’s becoming more popular, and how big its workforce is.
So, let’s dive in.
Top Gig Economy Trends, Stats, and Facts — Editor’s Choice
- 52% of global gig economy workers have lost their job because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Approximately 170 gig economy businesses operate in the US.
- Nearly 19% of gig workers contributed to a retirement plan.
- 53% of freelancers state that cost is the main barrier to improving their skills.
- 40% of companies around the world hire gig workers.
- 40% of millennials are freelancing.
- 98% of remote workers would work remotely for the rest of their careers.
- 60% of freelancers claim that they deliberately get into the gig economy.
Global Gig Economy Statistics — The Latest Data
Consumers, contractors, and employers are a part of the gig economy. Although its popularity is growing, gig workers and their employers have gone through significant changes this year. Here, you will find the newest information about the worldwide gig economy in 2020.
1. 52% of worldwide gig economy workers have lost their job due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Statista’s gig economy data published on November 26, more than half of gig economy workers have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, another 26% have reported a decrease in working hours.
2. 32% of organizations have been replacing their full-time employees with contingent workers since the coronavirus outbreak.
According to research from Garter, many enterprises have been replacing full-time employees with non-permanent workers since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. This contributes to increased flexibility and is a cost-saving measure.
3. The current number of freelancers in the US is 64.6 million.
The US saw 57 million freelancers last year, meaning that freelancing is becoming more popular. Furthermore, it’s predicted that there will be 90.1 million freelancers in the US by 2028.
4. Approximately 170 gig economy businesses operate in the US.
According to the newest data, around 170 virtual companies operate in the US. Many experienced individuals can be seen among gig workers, such as consultants and other people with outstanding technical, marketing, or creative skills.
5. Multiple jobholders account for 4.5% of civilian employment.
The 2020 multiple job holder statistics revealed that 59% of multiple jobholders work their primary job full time and the second job part time. Only 4% of them work both jobs full time.
6. 97% of people in India and Mexico are open to gig work.
The demand for gig workers has vastly increased in developing countries, as there has been a 30% increase in using gig platforms. This shows that other countries, apart from the US, are shifting towards independent work.
7. 31.63% of freelancers stated that the demand for their services decreased significantly.
Gig economy job statistics show that freelancers lost many job opportunities as the coronavirus pandemic went global.
However, 16.73% of them stated that the demand for their services increased. Moreover, 34% think that the demand for freelancing services will slightly increase when the pandemic ends.
8. Since the coronavirus outbreak, furniture moving has seen the largest increase of 54% in its hourly rate.
The pandemic has positively affected certain industries and occupations. Some skills that experienced a large increase in hourly pay rate are warehouse labor (46%), handyman (42%), carpenter (13%), and security guard (14%).
Gig Economy Statistics Regarding Income and Expenses
If you’re interested in freelancing, part-time working, or any other gig job, it’s essential to be informed about the average earnings and jobs in various industries.
Gig jobs aren’t for everyone, as there are many downsides to the gig economy. Find out more about the gig workers’ revenue and expenditure from the following statistics.
9. Massage therapist is the highest-paid gig job in the US, with an average hourly rate of $27.84.
Gig economy income statistics point out that massage therapists are the highest-paid gig workers in 2020. Freelancers are also paid well, as their average hourly rate is $25.33. Cleaning is the lowest-paid gig job (cleaners approximately earn $11.29 per hour).
10. In 2020, gig workers contributed $1.21 trillion in revenue to the US economy.
(MBO partners, Visual Capitalist)
Gig workers contributed almost $1.3 trillion to the US economy. To put this into perspective, here is the gig economy participation rate of some countries in the global economy: the US contributed $20.49 trillion, Canada $1.71 trillion, Russia $1.66 trillion, Mexico $1.22 trillion, and Sweden $0.55 trillion.
11. 18.8% of gig workers contributed to a retirement plan.
Working on a project-to-project basis has its drawbacks. One of the main issues gig workers have to handle is the contribution to a retirement plan. Only 7.8% of self-employed sole proprietors invest in a retirement plan, while 41.9% of wage or salary workers do the same.
12. The independent contractor tax rate stands at 15.3%.
If you’re an independent contractor, you will have to pay more federal taxes than employees. Independent contractors need to pay the same taxes as self-employed workers — both the employer and the employee share, with some modifications. The tax rate consists of 2.9% for Medicare and 12.4% for social security.
13. Google’s partnering staffing companies were required to pay contract workers a minimum of $15 per hour in 2019.
It seems that an even brighter future lies ahead of gig workers. Gig economy income statistics revealed that Google was one of the companies paving the way for independent contractors.
It does so by providing them with a minimum wage of $15 per hour, health benefits, 12 weeks of paid parental leave, and tuition reimbursement for skill development of $5,000 per year.
14. 61% of freelancers would move to a different city for a tax break of less than $5,000.
According to the fifth annual Freelancing in America study, almost two-thirds of full-time freelancers would consider moving to a different city if that move came with a tax break.
Moreover, freelancing statistics show that 51% of freelancers would never take a traditional job.
15. 53% of freelancers claim that cost is the main barrier to improving their skills.
More than 50% of college-educated freelancers say training and education are useful for their careers. Traditional workers can expect an employer to pay for their training, but freelancers have to invest their own money in improving their skills.
Stats About Gig Economy Size, Growth, and Workforce
The gig economy growth is noticeable, and its workforce is very diverse. Gig workers go by many names, like freelancers, part-time workers, on-call workers, consultants, free agents, moonlighters, and similar. However, gig jobs aren’t equally popular among different generations.
In this section, you will find information about the size and predictions for the gig economy and demographics of the gig economy workforce.
16. 36% of US workers were involved in the gig economy.
(Gallup) (Nation 1099)
Various gig economy worker statistics reveal that over a third of the US workforce was involved in gig work to some extent. As many as 162 million American and European workers dabbled in freelancing.
While some of them got into this line of work to supplement the income from their full or part-time jobs, the majority entirely relied on freelancing as their primary income source.
17. 40% of US workers earn at least 40% of their income through gig work.
Gig workers can come cheap, especially when outsourced from developing countries. Moreover, hiring a freelancer from the US can also cost less than hiring a full-time worker. That is why so many companies plan to include more gig workers in their workforce. Gig economy growth is evident.
18. In 6% of US companies, 85% of employees are gig workers.
Traditional employees still comprise the majority of the US workforce. In 38% of enterprises, traditional employees make up 95% of the total workforce. However, one in four workers in 40% of companies is a gig worker.
19. The gig economy gross volume is expected to reach $455.2 billion by 2023.
The gig economy market size has been increasing steadily since 2018. Currently, the gig economy’s gross volume stands at $296.7 billion, but it’s expected to increase significantly in the years to come.
20. Florida has 22% of gig workers.
The state with the highest number of gig workers is Florida, along with California and Texas. Their percentage in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York is 16%.
21. 40% of millennials freelance.
According to millennial gig economy statistics, millennials are relatively engaged in freelancing. However, Generation Z is the most interested in it, as 53% of them freelance. Baby boomers seem to be skeptical about this kind of work, as only 29% of them are freelancers.
22. The freelance job market increased by more than 25% from April to June.
Although people usually start freelancing temporarily, the number of people involved in long-term freelancing has increased. According to the 2020 freelance workforce statistics, it’s predicted that 48% of US workers will be freelancers by the end of this year.
23. 45% of freelancers provide consulting services.
The most frequent type of freelance work is related to skilled services. Marketing, programming, or other kinds of consulting services are undoubtedly the most popular freelancing jobs. The construction industry is also very popular among gig workers.
24. When Uber comes into a country, unemployment rates for car owners decrease by 5% compared to those without cars.
The gig economy unemployment rate decreases as the demand for gig workers grows. This information also proves that the gig economy affects the overall unemployment rate.
25. The demand for gig workers for field services and manufacturing is estimated to reach 88% by 2023.
Currently, the demand for field and manufacturing services stands at 63%. This means that their demand will increase by 25% to reach 88% in 2023. Also, the demand for corporate staff and support services is predicted to be 94% by 2023.
Popular Gig Economy Trends and Other Facts
Some of the reasons people choose to be independent contractors are flexibility and more options and opportunities. However, they have to be ready for inconsistent income, less stability, and fewer protections.
Take a look at the statistics listed below to find out more about why people choose gig work, their struggles, and this year’s prominent trends.
26. 98% of remote workers would like to work remotely for the rest of their careers.
According to the gig economy stats based on a global survey that includes more than 3,500 remote workers, just 2% don’t count on remote work as a long-run option.
Additionally, 97% of the respondents stated they encourage others to pursue this type of work.
27. Between 3 and 10% of workers in mature economies relied on gig platforms as a secondary source of income.
Gig platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork weren’t so popular in mature economies like the US. Various freelance economy statistics point out that the number of workers who rely on these platforms was negligible due to high fees and the freelancers’ ability to find work elsewhere.
28. 60% of freelancers claim that they got into the gig economy by choice.
People wish to work more independently. According to the statistics, 64% of freelancers want to remain independent and don’t want to work like traditional employees.
29. 70% of freelancers opt to work in the gig economy because of the better work-life balance.
Flexibility is one of the most significant trends in the gig economy. As many as 71% of freelancers feel comfortable working from anywhere. Moreover, many of them consider moving to a smaller city. Additionally, gig workers are able to travel more and devote time to their families.
30. 4% of freelancers will work on more than 10 projects at a time.
Many statistics point out that gig workers frequently work on several projects at once. Nearly 5% of them will accept as many as 10 projects at a time. The main reasons are the fear of missing the opportunity and more income.
31. UpWork has purged around 1.8 million registered freelancers from the platform.
(Business of Business)
One of the current and future workforce trends in the gig economy is using online freelance platforms.
However, UpWork’s CEO stated that almost two million freelancers had to be purged from the platform because of the skill gap between what companies want and what they get from freelancers.
32. 80% of remote employees work from home.
Remote employees usually work from their homes. Only 9% work from a company’s office, 7% from coworking spaces, 3% from coffee shops, and 0.5% from libraries. The rest (0.5%) work from other places.
Gig Economy Statistics — Conclusion
Thanks to technological advancement, the gig economy can further develop. Moreover, independent contractors are becoming more popular. People enjoy the flexibility and switching jobs gig economy provides.
However, some of them aren’t satisfied with the lack of security that employment provides. If you’re interested in becoming a gig worker or hiring one, these stats and facts can help you decide if it’s the right decision.
As long as it remains cheaper for employers, hiring gig workers will remain popular and in high demand.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How big is the gig economy in the US?
Currently, there are 64.6 million freelancers in the US, and their number is steadily growing. In around 40% of the US companies, one in four employees is a gig worker.
It’s also predicted that almost 50% of US workers will be freelancers by the end of 2020. Although the coronavirus outbreak has harmed certain industries, the freelancing market rose by 25% from April to June.
Although traditional employees still comprise most of the US workforce, the gig economy is growing larger.
What does the word gig mean in Gig Economy?
The word “gig” is a slang word for a non-conventional job that lasts a specific period. Jazz musicians coined this term back in 1915 to refer to their performances.
Examples of gig workers include work arrangements like temporary or part-time hires, freelancers, independent contractors, moonlighters, contingent workers, or project-based workers. There are many more names for gig workers, but they are all a part of the gig economy.
Is the gig economy growing?
The demand for gig workers is growing steadily. Enterprises want to hire skilled independent contractors because they usually cost less, and gig workers want to stay independent and have a flexible working schedule.
For instance, 53% of Generation Z in the US are freelancers, along with almost 50% of millennials. These numbers show that the gig economy will be even more prominent in the future.
The gig economy opens more job opportunities, breaks the 9–5 routine, and allows gig workers to be more flexible. All these perks cause the gig economy growth.
How old is the gig economy?
The word “gig” was coined in 1915 when it referred to musical performances. Later, in World War II, the first large companies promoted gig-type work, offering temporary jobs to fill workforce gaps.
Since 2009, gig jobs have referred to part-time freelance work. However, they existed even before that, meaning that the gig economy isn’t a new term.
These gig economy statistics reveal that the gig economy has been around for quite a while, although that isn’t obvious at first glance.