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The gig economy is inclusive

18th October 2021

Authors: John T Fleming (Ideas & Design Groups, USA), Lauren Lawley Head (Lawley Head Media, USA)

The gig economy

The gig economy has become a force within the labor market in the United States. An estimated 57 million Americans, some 40 percent of the workforce, are adding an estimated $1.4 trillion to the economy and growing at a pre-pandemic rate more than three times greater than the traditional 9-to-5 workforce. By 2030, more than half of U.S. workers are predicted to be involved in some form of gig work. We are living and working differently. We are motivated and enabled to be more in control of the work-life balance. The gig economy simultaneously represents an evolution in how we work and a revolution regarding who owns the work. The masses will own a portion of the work. Gig workers who realize they actually own their work, can lead to increases in overall work quality. The appeal and growth of the gig economy represent the beginning of a new trend toward the importance of flexibility and freedom in how and where work can be accomplished and rewarded.

Technology, artificial intelligence, and the use of robots have changed the nature of work. Changing the work process has resulted in innovative ways to work very different from the traditional work formats of the past 100 years. The gig economy is demonstrably redefining work by increasing the number and variety of available work choices and attracting those seeking work flexibility and the opportunity to work limited hours.

Implications

Major shifts in the way an economy works, transforms, or evolves require new understanding and new agreements as to definitions and often new public policies. The gig economy is like the "genie out of the bottle," and it will not go back. Flexibility and freedom in how work can be done is the new norm more than the exception. Men and women are attracted in almost identical proportions. Public policy makers will gain a better understanding of the future of work by collaborating with firms that utilize gig workers and the workers themselves.

Gig work supports inclusion & equality

Gig workers and the gig economy have disrupted traditional work models, even industries, and more disruption can be expected. The taxicab business model is mostly obsolete, no different from a roll of photographic film that is now obsolete. In most U.S. cities, fewer than 5% of taxi drivers were women. Yet, women represent approximately 20 to 30% of drivers in the gig economy. Overall, women represent 49% of gig economy participation, compared to 51% men.

Innovation and transformation in how people can now work from any place and at any time, based upon the decision of the worker, not an employer, supports gender equality and inclusion of all segments in society who seek flexible work opportunities.

The gig economy will continue to thrive

The gig economy will continue to grow and thrive, attracting a growing number of people seeking work in accordance with the schedule they design for themselves. The rigidity of the traditional industrial economy model of work is yielding to more entrepreneurial forms of work, available to the masses, inclusive of all segments in society, that is unparalleled. Men and women from all walks of life are benefitting, including their families, from the choices and flexibility offered by firms equipped with state-of-art technology that focus on connecting gig workers as intermediaries with customers and clients. Free enterprise in its micro-entrepreneurial format is alive and well.

Ultimate Gig, published by Emerald Publishing, tells the story about the gig economy phenomenon from the lens of the author who has experienced and been directly involved with gig-focused business models. Ultimate Gig is a unique source of information, data – stats and facts, and insights.

www.ultimategigresources.com

Authors: John T Fleming (Ideas & Design Groups, USA), Lauren Lawley Head (Lawley Head Media, USA)

Book: Ultimate Gig: Flexibility, Freedom, Rewards