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The Gig Economy

The United States is well on its way to establishing a gig economy. Estimates show as much as one third of the working population is already operating in some level of gig capacity.

A gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations hire independent contractors and freelancers for short-term commitments instead of full-time employees.

The term "gig" was borrowed from the performing arts where performers of all kinds are paid for individual appearances known as "gigs."

While there has always been a market for freelance, independent or contract work, with the expansion of technology, the gig economy has grown significantly.

There are a number of factors contributing to the rise of the gig economy. The two most important are the following:

  • Our workforce as a whole has become more mobile.
  • Work is increasingly done remotely via digital platforms.

According to a study done by Fortunly, by 2023, 52% of the American workforce will participate in the gig economy in some capacity.
Gig economy jobs include familiar positions found in diverse industries, including: graphic designers, substitute teachers, content writers, photographers, project managers, and editors, to name a few.

The benefits of the gig economy vary, depending on whose perspective you take. For businesses, hiring gig workers saves money and resources. From the worker’s perspective, improved work-life balance is the most commonly reported benefit of the gig economy.