PayQuicker, a fintech firm conducted a research study on the Gig economy covering more than 2,000 gig workers focusing on the global payout market.
The research was led by expert Dr Robert A. Peterson, a professor, The University of Texas at Austin, and John Fleming, Author of Ultimate Gig.
The report also stated that according to Mastercard, a financial services firm, the gig economy will “create an economic impact estimated to exceed $1 trillion dollars in the US, and the number of gig workers is estimated to reach 78 million by the end of 2023.” and the shift from traditional 9-5 work “has a deep impact on the way people expect to work, the hours they work, and how they are paid.” Additionally, it revealed that the gig economy believes in “working multiple gigs, the motivations behind gig work, and how this on-demand economy is shaping on-demand payment preferences.”
Diversity in types of gig work: Key insights
The key findings of the study show that with expanding diversity in the types of jobs available, gig work is being redefined. It extends beyond app-based ride-sharing, encompassing a wide range of industries and sectors.
- With 13% participation, restaurants, grocery and delivery are one of the most trending gigs
- Whereas ride-sharing/transportation services have 8% participation,
- Child-care or elder-care services have 7% participation, followed by
- Freelance photography, graphic design, and copyediting show 4% participation
Insights into the factors influencing gig work volume
Interestingly, the study shows that 60% of the participants “work multiple gigs, of which 23% have more than three gigs.” As per the report, people enter gig work with realistic expectations about potential earnings.
- Around 55% of participants shared that they worked just one gig hoping to earn nearly US$300 per month.
- However, as many as 13% of participants disclosed they earned over US$1,000 for a single gig.
- Surprisingly, 25% of participants shared that they enjoy freelancing or utilising their spare time to explore different interests. This is why, more than money, interests and utilising spare time drive them to take up gig work.
- Gig work offers freedom, flexibility and intentionality, along with demand in the way gig workers expect to be paid.
- About 46% shared that they took up gig work for financial reasons. However, it was not ‘extra money’ but ‘intentional money’ that they were seeking through this gig work.
- Around 50% of respondents shared that gig work money helps them pay the household bills. Meanwhile, nearly 34% said they use gig earnings for savings, investments, or supporting their lifestyle.
Challenges concerning gig work payment: Key findings
More than 83% of participants who took single gigs only said it is ‘somewhat important’ or ‘very important’ that they are paid for performance in a timely fashion, which suggests that companies offering new, innovative means of payment may well have a competitive advantage. Gig work is forcing change for all gig and non-gig companies in the traditional ways of payroll.
On being about payment-related issues faced in gig work, the insights are:
- 39% of respondents shared getting paid immediately upon completion of work
- 61% of respondents shared not getting paid immediately upon completion of work
- 51% of gig workers mentioned compensation or payment-related reason such as frequency of pay, payment method and payment security, as one of the main factors when taking up gig work.
Moreover, the dynamic shift also embraced modern and flexible payment methods, making it easier for the gig workforce.
However, 41% reported that they are still being paid in cash or cheque. Whereas, 35% reported direct bank transfers, and 21% reported payment via mobile wallet. Interestingly, 4% reported being paid in Cryptocurrency and “other” digital currency.
Charles Rosenblatt, President of PayQuicker said, “The exponential growth of the global gig economy, an on-demand workforce, is highlighting the challenges companies face in presenting on-demand payment options. There is increasing demand for people to get paid faster, even instantaneously, and for the gig economy, it is a critical part of their household income. As the future of work evolves, so does the need for real-time payment solutions that tackle this head-on and bring streamlined solutions to companies and their gig and alternative workers.”
Dr Peterson added, “Until now, there had not been a comprehensive study of the motivations and preferences of gig workers, as prior research has been limited to specific subcategories of gig work. In conducting this research, we wanted to identify and understand a broader array of gig workers, and document their gig-related behaviours, demographic characteristics, and motivations in a form useful for business decision-makers and public policy officials.”
Fleming concluded the report insights by saying, “The continued growth of gig workers is having profound impacts on not just the U.S. economy, but on a global scale. An understanding of the motivations and actions of gig workers is critical in today’s world, given this global impact. The insights and implications provided by this research should serve to inform and improve managerial decision-making regarding the nature, scope, and growth of the gig economy and the gig workers who participate in it.”