From Money, Bob Sullivan discusses the range of the type of gig workers and why there are differences of opinion on what the gig economy is. He discusses a survey by McKinsey & Company that tries to identify the category of gig workers. Bob writes:
McKinsey set out to learn more about this broader set of gig workers. It found there are 54-68 million independent earners in the United States. Many are not what or whom you’d expect.
- By choice, mostly – 72% are independent because they want to be; the other 28% are forced into gig work.
- Casual earners are the largest group – 40% of gig workers are moonlighting because they like the extra cash; 14% are moonlighting because they have to, and another 14% are gig workers because they can’t get a full-time job.
- Not all millennials – Young adults represent less than one-quarter of the independent workforce.
- Many are older – Seniors are Airbnb’s fastest-growing host demographic, and a quarter of Uber’s drivers are over age 50.
- Many are caregivers – Those who stay at home with children, the elderly, or the infirm are in a good position to pick up occasional piece work.
- Etsy and Uber, part-time – Some 70% of Etsy sellers and 60% of Uber drivers in the United States have some other form of primary income.
- It’s not all Uber and Etsy – While Uber grabs the headlines, independent work “is also preferred by many professionals such as doctors, therapists, lawyers, accountants, interior designers, and writers,” McKinsey said.
- They are urbanites – Eighty-one percent of the growth in gig jobs over the past four years took place in the nation’s 25 largest metro areas.
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