Infographic: Is the gig economy jumping the shark?

Business

In the decade since the gig economy has expanded at an exponential rate.

Since the Great Recession, gig jobs have been heralded as the economy of the future – but after a decade, are U.S. gig workers still making a profit on gig jobs? Many of the biggest gig startups began in the fallout of the Great Recession of 2008, with its astounding 7.2% unemployment spurred the demand for temporary and quick to start jobs.

In the decade since the gig economy has expanded at an exponential rate. As of 2017, there were 150 million Airbnb users and Uber had 42 million users. According to some estimates, there are as many as 75 million gig workers in the U.S. alone.

But after swelling numbers jumped on the gig job bandwagon, many faced the realization that living solely as a gig worker was just not possible with the way that it is currently set up. Gig jobs, as good as they seem, also come along with many financial detriments such as impermanence due to the nature of gig jobs, income unpredictability, and lack of benefits. Many gig workers don’t even earn enough to survive, according to the median monthly income. From 2014 to 2018, pay for even the most active participants dropped more than in half. Comparatively, fewer and fewer gig workers feel that they are doing their preferred type of work.

In April 2019, the U.S. unemployment was half of what it was in the midst of the Great Recession – with the economy recovering, are workers still willing to do gig work? The gig economy has a very uncertain future. Increasingly, workers may have realized that gig jobs can not and will not replace traditional work. Workers with non-standard working arrangements fell; part-time gig workers are on the rise, whereas full-time gig workers are decreasing.

Find out how the gig economy seems doomed with top companies in chaos and workers jumping ship here.

gig economy

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