Why don't gig workers get a 9-to-5? Hint: It's not about the money

Some 80% of gig workers are satisfied with their job, according to a Morning Consult report.

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The growth of the internet and mobile devices has fueled the rise of the gig economy, with workers easily finding freelance, contract, and piece work, but lacking company-provided benefits such as health insurance and employee-sponsored retirement savings accounts.

Despite the potential instability of gig economy jobs--like driving for Uber or Lyft, or completing jobs on TaskRabbit--most gig workers are satisfied with their jobs, according to a Tuesday report from Morning Consult. Some 80% of gig workers said they are content with their current jobs, and 62% said they are happy with how much money they make, the report found.

These and other work satisfaction metrics--such as benefits, opportunities for advancement, required hours, and mission and purpose of the employer--matched closely for gig and full-time workers, according to the report. However, most gig workers (67%) said they do contract work to supplement their income, as opposed to that work being their main source of income (33%).

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The majority of gig workers surveyed were male (53%), white (62%), between ages 18-44 (63%), didn't have a college degree (56%), and made under $50,000 per year (55%), according to the report. Hispanic workers make up twice as much of the gig workforce (20%) as the overall workforce (10%), and there were also more African-American workers in the gig economy (12%) compared to the overall workforce (9%), the report noted.

Workers in general value their flexibility more than pay, according to the report: 51% of all workers said they would choose more flexibility and shorter hours even if it meant less pay. More than half (55%) of gig workers make less than $50,000 annually before taxes, which is the same share as all workers, the report found.

Overall, 95% of all workers said having the flexibility to balance work and family needs is important. However, gig workers were divided on whether they would continue in their current positions: If given the opportunity, 51% of gig workers said they would want to stay as a gig worker, while 49% said they would prefer to work a full-time job, the report found.

You can learn more about the highest paying gig economy jobs and the most in-demand freelance skills on TechRepublic.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 80% of gig workers said they are satisfied with their current jobs, and 62% said they are happy with their financial situation. -- Morning Consult, 2018
  • 67% of gig workers said that they do contract work to supplement their income, while 33% said it is their main income. -- Morning Consult, 2018

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