The way people work in the US has changed a lot in recent years.
Many more people are doing gig work, which means they take on short-term jobs or freelance projects instead of having a traditional full-time job.
But how many gig workers are there in the US?
In this article, we’ll explore that question and try to understand the impact of gig work.
- 1 Key Statistics
- 2 How Many Gig Workers Are There in The US?
- 3 Gig Workers’ Share in the US by Industry
- 4 What is Gig Work?
- 5 More About the Gig Economy
- 6 Gig Workers’ Impact on the US Economy
- 7 List of Self-Employed Americans By Year
- 8 The Future of Gig Work
- 9 Average Working Time of US Freelancers
- 10 The Challenges of Gig Work
- 11 Conclusion
- 12 Sources
- There are 59 million gig workers in the United States
- Gig workers constitute 36% of the entire US workforce
- 38% of the total share of the Recreation Industry comes from gig workers
- Gig workers contributed a total of $1.21 trillion to the US economy in 2020
- Experts projected that 52% of the US workforce would have experienced gig work by 2023
- Most of US Freelancers (38.78%) have an average weekly working time of 41-50 hours
- 24% of gig workers lack health insurance coverage
How Many Gig Workers Are There in The US?
Over the course of 2020, a staggering 59 million American adults actively participated in the gig economy, accounting for approximately 36% of the entire US workforce.
These numbers highlight the substantial presence and significance of gig work within the American labor market.
With more than one-third of the workforce engaging in gig work, it is evident that the charisma of flexible employment and the pursuit of diverse streams of income have resonated strongly with individuals across the nation.
Gig workers play a significant role in shaping the workforce composition.
Here is a list of their share in some industries:
- Gig workers have a total share of 38% in the industry of Recreation
- Gig workers have a total share of 33% in the industry of Construction
- Gig workers have a total share of 30% in the industry of Business Services
- Gig workers have a total share of 25% in the industry of Finance
- Gig workers have a total share of 24% in the industry of Transportation/Warehousing
- Gig workers have a total share of 22% in the industry of Information
- Gig workers have a total share of 20% in the industry of Education
- Gig workers have a total share of 19% in the industry of Professional/Technical Services
What is Gig Work?
Gig work refers to a type of employment arrangement where individuals undertake short-term contracts, freelance projects, or on-demand tasks.
Rather than pursuing traditional full-time employment, gig workers leverage their skills, talents, and resources to engage in various gigs or assignments, often facilitated through digital platforms.
More About the Gig Economy
Gig work covers a wide range of jobs.
For example, it can include driving for ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft, doing freelance work like graphic design or writing, delivering packages, or renting out a room on home-sharing platforms like Airbnb.
The gig economy allows people to make money from their skills or assets and have more control over their work schedules.
Gig Workers’ Impact on the US Economy
The economic significance of gig work in the United States cannot be understated.
In 2020, gig workers made a substantial contribution, injecting approximately $1.21 trillion into the U.S. economy.
This huge figure accounts for roughly 5.7% of the total U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The monetary impact of gig workers highlights the crucial role they play in driving economic growth and fostering entrepreneurial activity.
Their collective efforts create a ripple effect throughout various sectors, encouraging spending, and generating business opportunities.
List of Self-Employed Americans By Year
The number of self-employed Americans increases as the years go on as shown in this list:
- In 2016, 9.60 million Americans were self-employed
- In 2017, 9.52 million Americans were self-employed
- In 2018, 9.70 million Americans were self-employed
- In 2019, 9.54 million Americans were self-employed
- In 2020, 9.25 million Americans were self-employed
- In 2021, 9.95 million Americans were self-employed
- In 2022, 9.87 million Americans were self-employed
- In 2023, 9.93 million Americans were self-employed
The Future of Gig Work
The gig economy’s influence on the American workforce shows no signs of slowing down.
Experts predict a seismic shift in employment patterns, with a projected 52% of the U.S. workforce expected to have experienced gig work by 2023.
The gig economy has shattered the traditional employment system, offering a range of opportunities that cater to individuals’ varying needs, skills, and preferences.
From freelance projects to short-term contracts, gig work enables workers to forge their own paths, become their own bosses, and seize control over their professional lives.
Average Working Time of US Freelancers
Understanding the working hours of freelancers provides valuable insights into their flexible work times in gig work:
- 3.65% of US Freelancers have an average weekly working time of <11 hours
- 3.83% of US Freelancers have an average weekly working time of 11-20 hours
- 6.75% of US Freelancers have an average weekly working time of 21-30 hours
- 28.02% of US Freelancers have an average weekly working time of 31-40 hours
- 38.78% of US Freelancers have an average weekly working time of 41-50 hours
- 14.1% of US Freelancers have an average weekly working time of 51-60 hours
- 4.86% of US Freelancers have an average weekly working time of >60 hours
The Challenges of Gig Work
Recent studies indicate that 24% of gig workers currently lack health insurance coverage.
This alarming statistic highlights a critical gap in access to essential healthcare services, leaving gig workers vulnerable in times of illness or injury.
Without employer-provided health insurance, gig workers often have to navigate complex and costly individual insurance options, making it difficult to obtain the coverage they need.
Additionally, 29% of gig workers report earning less than their state’s minimum wage.
This troubling figure raises concerns about fair compensation and financial stability within the gig economy.
While gig work offers flexibility, it can come at the expense of predictable earnings, making it challenging for workers to meet their basic needs and achieve financial security.
In conclusion, the gig economy has experienced significant growth and impact in the United States.
How many gig workers are there in the US?
With approximately 59 million gig workers in the world’s biggest economy, it is clear that the appeal of flexible employment and different sources of income have made its way to the majority of the workforce in the country.