The traditional method of working full-time from 9 to 5 with a single employer is changing nowadays, and gig work or freelancing is turning out to be the most acceptable option.
Around 73 million people in the United States have opted for freelancing over the year 2020.
To get a complete insight into the gig economy, here in this article, I have compiled all the necessary gig economy statistics that you can glance through.
- There were 9.94 million self-employed individuals in the US as of January 2023, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
- Around 16% of Americans have earned money through online gig platforms, and about 9% of them have received income from Online gig work in the year 2021.
- 16.4% of the American workforce is made up of gig workers, according to a 2022 study by Upwork. This equates to around 25-30 million gig workers.
- 30% of younger adults aged 18-29 have participated in gig work at some point, according to Pew Research data from 2021.
- 12% of the workers in the United States opted to freelance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- According to Statista, almost 30% of Hispanics depended on the gig economy for work in the year 2021.
- As per PYMNTS, around 76% of the workers opted not to quit their gig work for a full-time job.
- The art and design industry is the most popular one for Gig work, with 77% of workers as freelancers.
- The gross volume of the gig economy in the year 2023 is expected to reach around 455.2 billion USD.
Gig Workforce Distribution In The United States
Freelancers are essential parts of the workforce of the United States.
- A survey in 2022 found that around 100 million people in the United States are classified as permanent workers.
To learn more about the workforce distribution of freelancers in the U.S., here is the data provided below.
|Sr. No.||Workforce||Number Of People (In Millions)|
|1||Gig, contract, freelance, and temporary workers.||26 million|
|2||Contract, freelance and temporary only.||29 million|
|3||Gig only.||14 million|
|5||Permanent workers.||100 million|
Gig Economy Statistics By Race
- 31% of Hispanics are dependent upon the gig economy, while 27% of Black adults rely on the gig economy for work.
The below table represents the percentage of people dependent on the gig economy by race.
|Sr. No.||Race||People Earning Income Through The Gig Economy (In %)|
- Around 19% of Asians depend on the gig economy for work.
The table below represents the percentage of Americans currently earning or have earned money through the gig economy.
|Race||Currently Earning||Not Currently But In The Past 12 Months.||More Than 12 Months.|
Gig Economy Statistics By Gender
Women are more likely to earn additional revenue and work part-time as compared to men.
More women are opting for freelancing as it provides flexibility and independence and helps them earn a great sum.
The given table represents the percentage of gig workers by gender.
|Gender||Currently Earning||Not Currently But In The Past 12 Months.||More Than 12 Months.|
- According to the research, in 2021, 7% of women earned more income than men through gig platforms.
Gig Economy Statistics By Age
The gig economy is blooming. People of all age groups are opting to freelance rather than working 9 to 5 every day.
Given below is the percentage of gig workers, according to their age, who are currently working or have worked as freelancers.
|Age (in years)||Gig work Participation||Currently earning||Not currently but in the past 12 months.||More than 12 months.|
|18 to 29||30%||9%||13%||9 %|
|30 to 49||18%||4%||6%||8%|
|50 to 65||13%||3%||4%||6%|
|65 and above||7%||1%||1%||4%|
- As per Statista, people aged between 18 to 29 are the maximum ones who have opted for freelancing.
Gig Economy Statistics By Education
High education is essential for providing the necessary gig skills, but high ratings and relevant work experience can lead to an increase in hourly gig wages.
To know the percentage of gig workers in the United States according to their educational level, go through the following data.
|Degree type||Share of freelance workers|
|High School graduate or less||31%|
|Some college or associate degree||35%|
- According to the research of 2021, 51% of post-graduate American students opted for freelancing for earning.
Gig Economy Statistics By Industry
The digital design industry is more likely to turn freelance as compared to the healthcare industry.
- The research of 2021 demonstrates that only 20% of gig workers are engaged in the production and manufacturing industry.
To know the number of gig workers according to the type of industry, go through the data mentioned below.
|Type of Industry||Percentage of Individuals working|
|Transportation and Warehousing||24%|
Gig Economy Statistics By State
To know which American state has the maximum number of Gig workers, take a glance through the given data.
|State||Percentage Of Gig Workers|
- Florida in the United States has a maximum of gig workers covering around 22%.
Number Of Freelancers In The United States
- As of 2022, the U.S. has around 70.4 million freelancers. The number of freelancers has increased by 20% from 2021 to 2022.
The below table represents the number of freelancers in the United States from 2017.
|Year||Number Of People (In A million)|
- Based on the above data, it is projected that in the year 2028, 90.1 million people will be freelancing in the United States.
How Much Do Gig Workers Earn?
To know how much Americans earn through gig work, below are the industry-wise earnings that you can go through.
|Industry||Total Pay||Base Pay||Additional Pay|
|Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology.||$50,282||$38,594||$11,687|
|Personal Consumer Services.||$47,826||$36,699||$11,126|
|Governments and Public administration.||$50,282||$38,594||$11,687|
- According to the mentioned above data, the financial service industry has a total pay of about $74,380 with a base pay of $57,110 and additional pay of $17,269.
Gig Work Participation in the US by Income Level
Lower-income workers are more likely to engage in gig labor than middle- or upper-income earners.
While 25% of lower-income earners (those with a household income of less than $42K) have engaged in the gig economy, just 13% of middle-income earners (those with an income between $42K and $125.9K) and 9% of upper-income earners (those with an income over $125.9K) have done the same.
Here is a complete overview of Gig work participation in the US by Income level.
|Income Level||Gig work Participation|
|Upper Income (over $125.9K)||9%|
|Middle Income ($42k-$125.9K)||13%|
|Lower Income (less than $42K)||25%|
Growth Of Independent Workers From 2020 To 2021
- The number of occasional workers in the United States increased by 51%, while the number of independent workers increased by 25% from the year 2020 to the year 2021.
|2021||15.8 million||8.8 million||13.6 million|
|2022||23.9 million||10.2 million||17 million|
|Y-O-Y growth (in percent)||51%||16%||25%|
Gig Worker Benefits and Protections
- Only 16% of gig workers have access to retirement plans. That’s a far cry from the 52% of traditional employees who have access.
- 38% of gig workers report that they’re unable to save for retirement because they don’t generate enough income.
- 24% of gig workers reported having no health insurance, with 58% of those citing prohibitive cost as an obstacle.
- 48% of gig workers say their employment status impairs their access to health insurance.
- 14% of gig workers earned less than the Federal minimum wage on an hourly basis. 29% earned less than their state’s minimum wage.
- 19% of gig workers reported going hungry because they couldn’t afford food, and 30% used Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, twice the rate of regular workers.
- 37% of gig workers reported being treated rudely. 35% have felt unsafe while working, and 19% have experienced unwanted sexual advances while working.
- According to the Economic Policy Institute, gig workers lack overtime pay, unemployment insurance, health and safety protections, and the right to a union. The lack of paid sick days, family leave, and vacation time can lead to overwork and burnout.
Gross Volume Of Gig Economy From 2018 To 2023
- The gross volume of the gig economy in the year 2018 was found to be 204 billion USD.
The data below showcases the gig economy’s projected gross volume from 2018 to 2023.
|Year||Gross Volume Transactions|
|2018||204 billion USD|
|2019||248.3 billion USD|
|2020||296.7 billion USD|
|2021||347.8 billion USD|
|2022||401.4 billion USD|
|2023||455.2 billion USD|
Gig Economy: Trends and Future
- 86% of freelancers are optimistic about the future of the industry, according to a 2021 Upwork study.
- Around 40% of executives globally expect freelancers to make up a greater share of their workforce over the next few years, per BCG Henderson in 2022.
- 60% of the US workforce is forecast to be independent gig workers by 2027, according to Business2Community projections.
- Deloitte and Upwork both estimate the “alternative workforce” of gig workers will become the majority in the US by 2027.
- Spending on improving gig worker rights is predicted to reach $6 billion by 2027 per Business2Community.
- The number of US freelancers is expected to hit 86.5 million by 2027, according to estimates from Wonolo, Statista, and Upwork.
- 40% of companies intend to utilize more gig workers over the next 5 years, per a 2022 Sama School survey.
- Millennials will represent 75% of the global workforce by 2025, based on Forbes projections.
- 1 in 6 traditional full-time workers would like to transition to independent gig work, per a McKinsey and Upwork study.
Conclusion: Gig Economy Statistics (2023)
The Gig economy is turning out to be more prevalent day by day as most individuals are reaccessing their priorities and seeking an opportunity to have an additional source of income.
The gig economy is a bag of both pros and cons, with the key issue being that the gig workers do not get the benefits of legal rights and protections that traditional permanent workers do.
Go through all the statistics mentioned in the article and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
What are the benefits of the gig economy?
Below are some of the pros of doing gig work.
Freedom or independence.
Versatile working or job options.
More efficient etc.
How much time do people spend on gigs?
According to research by Zety, 38% of people spend around 10 to 20 hours doing gig work, while 3% of people spend 40-plus hours doing gig work.
What are some gig economy jobs for skilled workers?
Tutors, Technical service providers, graphic designers, freelance writing, etc., are some of the jobs for skilled workers.
Which is the fastest-growing segment of the gig economy?
The creative and knowledge-intensive industrial sectors are considered to be the fastest-growing segment of the gig economy.
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