The Gig Economy

The Gig Economy is freelancing.  What this means is fewer long-term packages offered by big business or corporations.  It’s the doing away with pensions.  Forbes explains:

One motivator for those looking to earn more through freelancing is the decline of pension programs, according to LinkedIn. The number of workers enrolled in pension plans at private U.S. firms has fallen from 60% in 1982 to only 14% today. That means less retirement savings and more long-term financial insecurity.

When you think of a gig economy, think of a single project or task for which a worker is contracted with start dates and deadlines.  We might more easily picture this happening in the tech industry, but it happens elsewhere as well.

In watching its members over the past five years, LinkedIn has seen a 100% increase in the number of gainfully employed people who add freelance work to their profiles. Says Walker: “This is a way for (professionals) to take matters into their own hands and proactively have more control over their professional lives.”

Some gigs are a type of short-term.  Think gigs.

Lifehack offers a guide for making money online.  How much of this is doable versus how much of this is just novelty?

The gig economy makes up for only about 7%

The data BLS has for these types of workers are about a decade old. In 2005, contingent workers accounted for roughly 2 to 4 percent of all workers. About 7 percent of workers were independent contractors, the most common alternative employment arrangement, in that year. BLS plans to collect these data again in May 2017.

This article says that the gig economy will double in four years.  What, from 7% of the economic output to 14%?  Really?


The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) covers about 83 percent of the jobs in the U.S. economy. Its 329 detailed profiles of occupations are sorted by group. This section highlights some of those groups in which gig work may be increasingly relevant, giving examples of occupations in each.

Arts and design. Many occupations in this group, including musiciansgraphic designers, and craft and fine artists, offer specific one-time services or customized products, which makes them good candidates for gig work.

Computer and information technology. Web developerssoftware developers, and computer programmers are among the occupations in this group in which workers might be hired to complete a single job, such as to create a small-business website or a new type of software.

Construction and extraction. Carpenterspainters, and other construction workers frequently take on individual projects of short duration, a hallmark of gig jobs.

Media and communications. The services of technical writersinterpreters and translatorsphotographers, and others in this group are often project-based and easy to deliver electronically, fueling a market for gig workers.

Transportation and material moving. Ridesharing apps have helped to create opportunities for workers who provide transportation to passengers as needed, and on-demand shopping services have led to gig jobs for delivery drivers.

Here is the Occupational Outlook Handbook.  Use it voraciously.