We don’t know about you, but we keep hearing about the gig economy. So we decided to research and found some pretty interesting gig economy statistics!
The best way to describe the gig economy is “a free market system where workers are contracted for short-term engagements”. In most cases, these workers are referred to as freelancers.
You know, those guys at your local café who seem so engrossed in their laptops. We’re sure you see them quite often.
How big is the gig economy exactly?
Well, there’s no easy way to answer this question. We gathered the following stats to give you insights into what the system:
Key Gig Economy Trends & Stats (Editor’s Pick)
- 80% of major US companies are planning to switch to employing freelance labor
- About 3 out of 4 gig workers say technology makes it easier for people to find their work
- 90% of US workers seriously consider working as freelancers or independent contractors in 2020
- The gig economy is growing 3X faster than traditional jobs
- Freelancers in the United States added about $1.28 trillion to their economy in 2018.
- Self-employed women make up 35% of America’s gig workers
- 70% of freelancers cite a better work-life balance as their reason for choosing the gig economy
- White gig workers account for nearly 75% of all contingent workers in 2020
Gig Economy Trends – The Growth
1. 63% of regular full-time employees will leave their jobs for a gig.
The gig economy offers a lot of benefits. Some of them include flexibility in scheduling and increased access to a wide range of work experiences.
You’re not the only one.
Gig economy statistics show that 63% of employees said they would leave their current full-time position for a gig. For about 62% of them, a sense of security was the primary motivation that drove them to a full-time job. Only 23% mentioned benefits and only 10% said salaries.
In the past, about 56% of business executives had already done contract work in a form or the other. Gig economy trends show that this is a figure that is likely to rise in the years to come.
2. In the United States, there are about 170 gig economy businesses that only employ freelancers.
Research shows that the largest digital corporations in the United States have an active gig economy. Some of these companies include Toptal, InVision, AnswerConnect, and Automatic. More than 30% of Fortune 500 companies are reportedly using this network to find talent, according to Upwork statistics.
Other major companies that are switching to freelancers gradually include the Bank of America, Verizon, and FedEx.
3. Gallup estimates 36% of workers are somehow involved in the gig economy.
(Source: Small Biz Labs)
According to gig economy statistics, that’s around 57 million people. This figure can be hard to place especially when defining what constitutes a gig job. We should also consider those who combine gig jobs with their conventional jobs.
4. The gig economy is growing 3X faster than the traditional workforce.
Gig economy trends show that about 47% of working millennials now say they are freelancers in some capacity. This shows the popularity of the gig economy will grow in the coming years.
Several freelancer statistics suggest that 29% of the freelancers said their businesses are their only source of income. This percentage has increased from about 17% in 2014 which again shows the growth in this industry. These freelance statistics show that people prefer mobility and the freedom to choose their projects.
5. In developing countries, the use of gig platforms has increased by over 30%.
These freelance economy statistics can be pretty useful for employers, that are searching for freelancers. Countries with developed economies report only about 1%-4% of gig workers gig working platforms though.
6. The gig economy in the United Kingdom doubled in size from 2016 to 2019.
(Source: The Guardian)
Like other developed economies, the United Kingdom is also at the forefront of the gig economy. With a gig economy workforce of about 4.7 million people presently, one might think the UK had been at the forefront of this rise.
Gig economy trends show that it has reached this level in the past three years.
7. Over 50% of full-time gig workers feel more financially secure than those with traditional jobs.
(Source: MBO Partners)
Financial security is one of the deciding factors in many scenarios. Gig economy statistics show that over half of the freelancers feel more secure in their finances than they would if they were doing more traditional jobs. This could be because they can choose between work projects and determine their own rates.
8. Freelancers in the United States added about $1.28 trillion to the gig economy in 2018.
(Source: MBO Partners)
That is a lot of money!
These gig economy statistics 2018 considers full-time independent workers. The added value stood at $1.28 trillion, which is almost as much as the GDP of a smaller country like Spain.
This goes to prove how many Americans engage in and patronize freelancers as they contribute a sizable amount to the economy of the country.
Gig Economy Stats – Freelancers’ Opinions
9. 70% of freelancers cite a better work-life balance as the reason they choose the gig economy.
(Source: Flex Jobs)
According to freelancers, the ability to have a suitable work-life balance is the main reason for choosing the gig economy. These gig economy stats also show that 62% of them cited a being able to determine when they work as another deciding factor.
Other factors include but are not limited to: better productivity, avoiding distractions, health, and family concerns.
10. 93% of gig workers with a college degree agree that relevant skill training is vital to their work at the moment.
(Source: Free Train)
Freelancers typically put greater emphasis on skills training. About 93% of the freelancers with college degrees say work training is most useful for them. In reality, only 70% of gig workers took part in some form of training compared to just 49% of non-freelance full-time workers.
Gig economy statistics 2019 also show that only 79% of respondents believe that their higher education was useful for their current work.
Honestly, we relate.
11. 1 in 6 conventional workers will decide to become an independent earner.
Through their study of Independent Employment, Mckinsey found that one out of six conventional employees would like to move to the self-employed if given the chance. Based on this gig economy research, it can be determined that freelance gigs are growing in popularity.
In absolute figures, this category in the United States and the EU-15 amounts to a total of 42 million people. In reality, more than two conventional workers hope to become a gig worker for every primary independent worker who would prefer a traditional job.
Gig Economy Size & Technology
12. 53% of those between 18-29 in USA use the help of their smartphones to get a job.
(Source: St Louis Fed)
This statistic has a direct effect on the gig economy 2019. This is because most gig jobs can be done remotely. So, the increased use of mobile phones by young adults will lead to a higher number of freelancers. For the entire population of adults in the U.S, only 28% use their smartphones to get jobs.
13. Over 70% of gig workers get their jobs from freelancer websites.
It’s hardly a surprise that the global gig economy is mainly internet-based. Reports from Payoneer Income Report show that more than 70% of the gig workers find work on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Toptal.
14. About 3 out of 4 gig workers say technology makes their work easier to find.
Freelancer statistics show that 75% of freelancers believe that platforms like Upwork and Fiverr made their work-life easier. Not only they can choose projects on their own, but they can also showcase their previous ones.
It’s a win-win.
Gig Economy Statistics – What the Future Holds
15. 40% of companies see gig workers taking a bigger part of their workforce in the coming years.
Gig economy trends 2019 show that in the coming years, more businesses will be open to the idea of gig workers. While this development is a major advantage to gig workers, it can be risky for workers with a limited or defined set of skills.
Especially those in developing countries.
16. Gig workers in the field of artificial intelligence earn an average of $115.06 per hour.
These freelance workforce statistics place artificial intelligence as by far the highest-earning industry for gig workers. Other industries on the list include blockchain architecture which earns about $87.05 for every hour and robotics earning $77.46 for every hour. The others on the list are cryptocurrency, Lambda coding for Amazon Web services and virtual reality at rates of $65.37, $51, and $50.18 per hour respectively.
17. In 2025, millennials will comprise about 75% of the world’s workforce.
Gig economy statistics from Forbes estimates that the majority of the world’s population will be millennials by 2025. In actual values, this will be up to 75% precisely.
Millennials are currently the generation that’s most oriented towards freelance jobs. So good news for the gig economy!
18. 80% of major US companies are planning to switch to employing freelance labor.
This data is according to the Intuit 2020 study on the future of gig employment. Gig economy trends show that in the years to come, over 80% of major US-based companies would significantly increase their use of non-traditional jobs.
Maybe one day freelancing work will surpass traditional jobs.
What do you think?
Overall, our gig economy statistics paint a pretty picture for the future of freelancing jobs. We can see that there is reduced skepticism towards gig workers and freelance projects.
Also, companies’ managers and leaders now make good employee experience a priority. They can now benefit from home-office or choose to work only for certain projects with said company.
Working wherever, whenever (cheers to Shakira) sounds pretty tempting to us. We’re excited to see how the gig economy will develop. Are you?