What is Gig Economy ?

Gig Economy is extensive usage of  temporary, flexible jobs, independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees. Employers cannot always afford to hire full-time employees. So they hire part-time or temporary employees to take care of busier times or specific projects. Employees often find they need to move around or take multiple positions to afford the lifestyle they want. People also tend to change careers many times throughout their life. In today’s complex personal and professional realms, people do not feel okay with doing the same thing over and over again while being in the same office. Given a choice, they are willing to work part-time or in temporary positions. This acts as a fertilizer for gig economy. Gig economy results in cheaper, more efficient services, such as Uber or Airbnb. Cities are ideal places for gig economy as there is big number of service requirements for the huge urban population.  Hence cities are  most entrenched in the gig economy.The gig economy trend often makes it harder for full-time employees to develop fully in their careers since temporary employees are often cheaper to hire and more flexible in their availability.

By 2020, 40 percent of American workers would be independent contractors. USA has increasing trend of establishing a gig economy. Due to increased digital technology, “work from home” has become very common. This is conducive to contracting work as many jobs don’t require the freelancer to come in to the office to work.  Employers also have a wider range of applicants to choose from as they don’t have to hire someone based on their proximity. Gig-economy workers range across the spectrum of professions, from the highly paid to below-minimum-wage. Management consultants, video producers and software engineers may earn top dollar, while delivery boys and chauffeurs may be paid per package or by the hour. Young millennials may leap into the gig economy because they want to live their dreams. But for those who are not highly skilled, focused and confident, it may be a dangerous place to be in. Unless a person is extremely talented, his bargaining power will necessarily be limited.

Origin of word “Gig” : Gig is slang for a live musical performance. Originally coined in the 1920s by jazz musicians, the term, short for the word “engagement”.

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