What Is The Gig Economy? Jobs, Apps & Platforms Explained
Ordering a takeaway through the Deliveroo app, hopping into an Uber cab, or staying at an Airbnb host’s house—these are services made possible by the gig economy.
During the covid pandemic, demand for gig workers surged, with people opting for the ease and convenience of speedy takeaway food and other services.
The gig economy is a rapidly growing sphere, with the growth of the global economy forecast to reach $455 billion in 2023. This rapid rate of change may invite many challenges for both gig workers and customers operating within the gig economy.
The gig economy is distinct from the sharing economy as it relates to the flexible work that’s fulfilled by freelancers or contractors, while the sharing economy refers to the sharing of assets or services between private individuals.
What is the gig economy?
It can be difficult to pin down the exact definition of the gig economy as there are many different variations of gig work. There are, however, some things that are unique to the system.
Pictured: Anne Keegan, Professor of Human Resource Management
"A broad definition of the gig economy refers to a move away from the standard employment relationship towards increased flexibility—all contract work, contingent work, freelancing, and gig work,” explains Anne Keegan from Ireland’s UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
Anne is a professor of international human resource management and researches the challenges and opportunities of the gig economy.
She adds that the definition of ‘gig economy’ has become narrower, however, and it’s now often used to describe work that’s mediated by digital labor platforms.
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This article was originally published on BusinessBecause on June 1, 2022.