Gig Economy

Last Updated 05/04/2024

Refers to a market system in which many employers hire independent workers for short-term jobs, and temporary positions are common.  In the U.S., gig work occurs in traditional and digital workplaces; is sizable in the numbers of workers; is comprised of workers across age, education, demographic, and skill categories; and an increasing number of jobs are done remotely through digital platforms. The latter enables the independent or freelance workforce to be employed on projects anywhere in the world, and enables employers to tap a substantially larger talent pool. Notable change has occurred in the market in several industry sectors, e.g., transportation (on-demand rideshare companies, short-haul truck drivers); food service (food delivery services); construction laborers; hospitality (housekeeping services); and healthcare (home health aides). Jobs in the gig economy are often viewed as low-wage, characterized by contract firm, on-call, or temporary workers (low-wage workers whose earnings are variable, who work in nonprofessional or semiprofessional occupations, and who accept volatile hours and a short-term time commitment from the organization paying for that work). Gig work also includes high-paid project-to-project work done by professionals.

See:  Gig Workers

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