Side Job/Gig Economy

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Side Job/Gig Economy Trends

After conducting an extensive search on the side job/gig economy, we established that over the last five years, more people are shifting to a freelance employment arrangement. Companies are providing their employees with the option of working remotely. We also established that technology has made it easier for freelancers to find jobs online.


The gig economy relies on single projects for which someone is employed to do on demand. People are employed through a digital marketplace. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. TaskRabbit, Uber, Handy, Airbnb, Fiverr, and Thumbtack are some top companies in the gig economy. These companies operate through apps, where they provide marketplaces based on ratings. Payments are also carried out through apps. Around 8% of the United States citizens earned money through digital platforms in 2018. They used digital platforms to acquire a job. The stereotype that freelance professionals get hired by startups and as a last resort is changing as big companies including the Fortune 500 have also started hiring talented freelancers. Freelance talent offers easy access to fresh ideas and specialized skill sets that are flexible and cost-effective. Companies have also been able to reduce the time-to-market time, posing an advantage over competitors.

The concept of entrepreneurship is changing as Generation Z and Millennials are adopting solopreneurship. This group of people sell their skills. They may work with people or independently to provide a number of skill sets to enterprises. Due to the growth in freelancing, a number of associations have come up to equip freelancers with support and advice. They include the Hamilton Freelancers Association of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, VNO (virtual networking organization), the Editorial Freelancers Association in New York City, and the Hoxsby Collective and IPSE in the U.K. Freelancers prefer taking on gigs than creating a long term relationship with contractors. Around 36% of workers in the United States take part in the freelance economy, through their secondary or primary jobs. Around 40% of employees in the United States attribute 40% of their income to freelance work.

Industry growth

A majority of people are opting to freelance over the last 5 years. The freelance workforce has marked a growth of 3.7 million. There are 56.7 million freelancers in the United States as of now. This is a growth of 4 million from 2014. Younger generations are adopting the independent workforce as most of them are full-time freelancers. Americans are now using 1 billion hours to freelance, per week. In 2015, they used to spend 72 million hours per week to do freelance work.

In the last 12 months, 35% of the United States workforce engaged in supplemental temporary projects. This equals 56.7 million people, representing a 7% growth since 2014. A 7% growth is an equivalent of 3.7 million. The full-time freelancing workforce grew from 17% in 2014 to 28% in 2018.

It is expected that freelancers will make up 50% of the workforce in companies by the end of 2019. As an estimate, employers acknowledge that around 22% of their workforce work remotely. This is expected to increase to 33% by the year 2025.

Freelance work became more common after the global economic crisis in 2018. It is predicted that 25% of jobs won't exist in the coming 10 years, according to the CEO of Life Hacks Wealth, Marcos Jacober.
Around 50% of the United Kingdom's workforce will be self-employed in the next five years. The European Union Labour market has the fastest growing independent workers group. This goes for India's independent workforce too, which is the biggest in the world with 15 million people. This is an equivalent of 40% of the world's freelance jobs. The IPSE (association of independent professionals and self-employed) established that non-permanent workforce has grown greatly over the last 10 years.


Technology and freelance work go hand in hand. Technology makes it possible for people and businesses to work remotely. At this rate, the greater portion of the labor force will be composed of freelancers in the future.


Technology has eased the process of finding freelance work, according to 3 in 4 freelancers. In 2018, 64% of freelancers found jobs online. This is a 22% increase from 2014. In 2019, 76% of freelancers acknowledged that technology has eased the process of finding freelance work. There was a 67% increase in jobs found online in 2019.

Upwork is the biggest freelance online marketplace and is now a company valued at $2 billion, according to its IPO. Kelly Services offered the Business Talent Group a minor investment, which implies growth and profit in the industry. Patronization is a trend that is adopted by people who prefer art-related side jobs. Patrons provide funding to the freelancers to supports their creative arts. Patrons are new in the digital platform industry.
Around 26% of freelancers consider themselves to be employed by the services they used to find jobs while 68% consider themselves to be independent contractors. Some platforms used to find freelance work include Wonolo, Amazon Flex, Bellhops, Care and Cavier. Wonolo enables freelancers to connect with immediate same-day or hourly jobs from big brands while Amazon Flex ensures that workers get flexible working hours. Bellhops provide moving services while care offers child, adult, pet, senior and home care to customers seeking caregivers. Cavier requires one to have a truck, car, or motorcycle to deliver food from restaurants to customers.


The gig economy can work side by side with online learning platforms to provide academic and non-academic credentials for people looking for a side job. They can ensure that the freelancers are aligned with the companies' labor requirements and the skill sets on demand. Online education provides a freelancer with a flexible schedule to study and work. Around 33% of freelancers learn from webinar tutorials and online videos. Freelance marketplaces are creating e-learning platforms. These include Fiverr, Coursera, and Udemy. It is known as Learn from Fiverr. Freelancers are enabled to learn new skills on Lynda and General Assembly.


Side gigs are effective when clients, businesses, and customers can connect easily and quickly. WhatsApp and Skype are basic tools for communication used by clients and freelancers. Shared workspaces can be acquired through NextSpace. The increase in demand for streaming communications was influenced by the freelancers need for speedy communications. Emails, which are quite slow, are no longer being used. Technological tools have also enhanced the quality of work done by freelancers. They include existing applications like Grammarly, Calendly, and platforms that improve web-design and SEO skills. Grammarly is used to check grammar mistakes and Calendly is used for streamlining the scheduling process.


There is a demand for management tools that help in the management of freelance work and employees. Cool Company, TaloFMS, and Kalo are startups that provide other companies with management systems. The platforms are expected to grow and link up with others in order to incorporate extra features. Time-tracking tools are also entering the market. Freelancers are able to track their tasks in real time, enabling them to calculate their payment totals via the online freelance platforms including Elance.


Are 45% of human beings use their smartphones for work. Out of these, 41% use them in downloading work-related applications, even though they pay for the applications from their own pockets. Social media is used by 80% of people to search for work. Around 19% of the people acknowledged that social media is vital in assisting them in conducting business. Women selling products online rely on social media more than men.


Around 61% of people work independently by choice and not because it's necessary. Independent workers mostly acquire the lifestyle that they want and 51% say that they wouldn't take a traditional job for whatever money they are offered. About 72% of independent workers would vote for candidates who support freelancing. Side workers and freelancers update their skills from time to time in order to remain relevant in the market. The job market evolves proactively due to advancement in technology, business management, and networking. Around 70% of full-time freelancers took part in skill training, in the past six months.

According to the New York Times, restaurants are changing their traditional spaces to coworking areas. Spacious, a startup, turned restaurants based in San Francisco and 25 Manhattan restaurants into daytime coworking spaces. The restaurants are closed from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. In turn, the tables and booths are used as desks. The company provides WI-FI, power strips, and coffee.
Around 55% of freelancers choose gig jobs to make extra money, 48% take the jobs to balance career and family needs, 48% for control and autonomy, 22% choose as the only way to make income, 19% take freelance jobs as a way of earning while seeking greener pastures. Freelancers acknowledge that there is a downside to freelance work as there are no benefits like the medical cover as stated by 69%. Around 48% said that one doesn't get paid when sick, 43% noted insufficient income, 41% claimed it unprofitable, and 27% stated that it caused debt accumulation. Of those using digital gig platforms, 23% are students, 24% are employed part-time basis, 44% are employed, while 32% are unemployed.