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%).
SEE: Remote access policy (Tech Pro Research)
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.
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
- The gig economy: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Won't get fooled again: Gig economy second wave begins to break (ZDNet)
- Here are the 20 most in-demand skills for freelance workers (TechRepublic)
- Cheat sheet: How to become a data scientist (TechRepublic)
- Drivers lose out in gig economy (CNET)
- Report: Why women work in the gig economy (TechRepublic)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.