10 Gig Economy Statistics You Won’t Believe

by Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers on February 6, 2019

Gigs aren’t just for musicians anymore.

The gig economy (also known as the agile labor market) is picking up speed as more and more Americans eschew permanent positions to work as freelancers, independent contractors, consultants and temporary workers. The flexibility to work whenever from wherever is an attractive perk leading to a steady decrease in traditional employment that’s expected to continue.

So just how big is the gig economy — and what does it mean for your workplace? These gig economy statistics will surprise you.

10 Gig Economy Statistics

  1. 36% of U.S. workers participate in the gig economy through either their primary or secondary jobs.
  2. 29% of all workers in the United States have an alternative work arrangement as their primary job.
  3. 63% of full-time executives would become an independent contractor, given the opportunity.
  4. Nearly 40% of the American workforce now makes at least 40% of their income via gig work.
  5. Over 75% of gig workers say they would not leave freelance work behind for a full-time job.
  6. 55% of contingent workers also have a regular or full-time job.
  7. 37% of full-time freelancers, independent contractors and consultants are ages 21-38.
  8. Over the next five years, 52% of the U.S. adult workforce will either be working or will have worked as an independent contributor.
  9. At least 90% of Americans are open to the idea of freelancing, consulting or independent contracting work.
  10. The two most common reasons traditional workers gave for choosing freelance work were “to earn extra money” (68% and to “have flexibility in [their] schedule” (42%).

What Does The Gig Economy Mean For Your Workplace?

To make your workplace more attractive to professionals interested in the gig economy, Gallup Inc. offers two considerations:

  1. Adjust traditional roles to include the benefits gig work offers — in other words, flexibility, autonomy and opportunities to expand creativity.
  2. Remember that every employee, regardless of their position or tenure, should feel supported by their managers.

These are two good points. But what exactly does it mean to give employees flexibility and support? Here are some more practical steps you can take to ensure your workplace is ready to accommodate the gig economy:

  • Consider implementing a remote work policy if you don’t already have one.
  • Make sure you have a good mix of work spaces that are easy for anyone to access — including meeting rooms, collaborative spaces and quiet spaces.
  • Make sure you have technology like iOFFICE Hummingbird that allows your employees to  easily find and access the spaces and resources they need to be productive.

As the workforce shifts toward more of a gig economy, facility managers and workplace leaders are becoming more like facilitators and concierges. Recognizing that contractors and consultants can work anywhere, they are focusing more of their attention on providing an exceptional employee experience so they’ll want to come back.


Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers

Tiffany covers leadership and marketing topics and enjoys learning about how technology shapes our industry. Before iOFFICE, she worked in local news but don't hold that against her.

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