Roughly 16 percent of Americans—about one in six—have given rides, delivered groceries, walked dogs, or done other gig jobs for money, a new survey of 10,348 adults by the Pew Research Center has found.
The proportion rises for younger, poorer, and non-white adults, the data shows.
Among other findings:
- 30 percent of people ages 18 to 29 have gigged, compared to just 18 percent of people 30 to 49;
- 30 percent of Hispanics, 20 percent of Blacks, 19 percent of Asians, and 12 percent of Whites have done gig work;
- 25 percent of lower-income people have been part of the gig economy, but only 13 percent of middle-class workers and 9 percent of high-income earners.
About six in ten gig workers said they needed the money to pay basic expenses.
More than half who have done gig work said they wanted to save extra money or cover gaps in their incomes. Roughly six in 10 gig workers said the money they earned has been essential or important for meeting their basic needs.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The gig economy is one place where workers will have a harder time exerting the power that regular employees are now exerting in the workplace.
Outsourcing has created a cutthroat labor market in gig work; someone demanding better pay or more reliable work can easily be replaced by someone willing to settle for less.