4 gig economy trends worth paying attention to in 2022

If 2021 proves anything, it is that the gig economy is still active.

From carpooling to takeaway, to home business and freelance work, Americans have been creative in their income patterns in the past year. Actually, According to the Pew Research Center, 16% of Americans have made income through online performance platforms at some point.

Looking ahead, the gig economy may continue to grow in 2022, and employers will continue to look for more ways to cooperate with gig workers.

So, what are the continuing gig economy trends that deserve attention in the coming year? This is what we are going to watch.

4 things gig workers should look for in 2022

1. The sideline is becoming permanent (temporarily)

For many Americans, part-time work has become more of a primary job. In 2021, 41% of gig workers rely on their odd jobs to pay for their monthly expenses. According to statistics, this proportion is higher than 27% in 2020 Dollar Sprout’s 2021 side business report.

By 2021, the number of people who spend more than 15 hours a week on odd jobs has more than doubled, from 12% to 27%. The proportion of odd jobs with monthly income of more than US$1,500 has increased from about 4% in 2020 to more than 14% in 2021.

Nevertheless, for many gig economy workers, gig work is no longer a temporary hobby. The pandemic has given American workers a lot of time to reflect, and many people are no longer satisfied with the ordinary, traditional work in the ordinary office environment.

Set your own working hours freely, become your own boss, have more work/life balance, and feel more satisfied with what they do. This undoubtedly promotes the increase in odd jobs and contributes to the so-called “great Resign”.

In other words, even though workers make more money than ever before and spend more time on part-time work than ever before, many people still don’t think part-time work is a good long-term option. In the Pew Research Center survey, only 31% of people think these jobs are a good way to build a career. In fact, 68% of people said that odd jobs are not a good career development option.

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2. Employee Vs.The independent contractor debate continues

At the end of 2020, a project named Proposal 22 California voters passed. The debate focused on whether carpool drivers can be considered employees or independent contractors when working for companies such as Uber or Lyft.

If a gig worker is classified as an employee, the ride-sharing company will bear the financial burden of employer-sponsored health insurance, workers’ compensation, social security and unemployment insurance, and must provide sick or nursing leave. If the gig worker is still classified as an independent contractor -Like most people-the company does not have to provide these benefits.

Proposal 22 is largely regarded as a compromise between the two parties. Ride-sharing companies in California are still not subject to labor laws and can classify their drivers as independent contractors. However, drivers are receiving new benefits, including income guarantees based on local minimum wage laws, medical subsidies for drivers who work more than 25 hours a week, and occupational accident insurance.

However, although the California debate is temporarily over, it continues in other states.To the frustration of ridesharing companies, the federal government Has entered the chat.

In late December, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that it would reconsider its 2019 employment classification decision and required labor unions, employers and any other interested parties to conduct public briefings on the issue, and they must be no later than February 10, 2022 Provide input.

There is no doubt that by 2022, gig economy workers and employers in the shared mobility industry may undergo major changes.

3. Some gig workers face safety issues

April 2020, NPR interviewed Candy Roberts, Instacart shopper. She described some horrible aspects of having to go to the grocery store when the pandemic began.

In the absence of vaccines, apart from simply becoming a frequent visitor to public stores, Roberts also talked about some crazy incidents she encountered. “People steal things from your shopping cart. You know, you may have finished the last milk. Well, don’t look away from your shopping cart because someone will take it from your shopping cart. Take it out,” she told NPR.

At the time, Instacart had not provided Roberts with any hand sanitizer or other items to provide protection against Covid. She cleaned her hands with Listerine. For Roberts, the sole supporter of his grandson, early 2020 is an incredibly stressful period.

Although things have changed since then, safety issues are still part of the gig labor transaction.More than half (51%) of U.S. gig workers Pew Survey The report is very or a little worried about getting Covid while completing work in the past year.

However, security issues are beyond the scope of Covid. 37% said they were often or sometimes rudely treated when doing odd jobs, and 35% said they felt unsafe.

The most disturbing of all the statistics: 19% of people said they had experienced unwanted sexual assault at work. Nearly a quarter of female respondents said that they had made this kind of advance payment before.

4. Part-time jobs are not limited to one generation

The gig economy is open to all generations, and all generations are taking advantage of it.

“In the context of historical labor shortages, we have seen a steady increase in the number of workers who desire flexible opportunities to increase their income potential. From baby boomers to Gen Z, data shows that our workers are reassessing what they want from work What,” Monica Plaza of Wonolo, an online human resources company, said in a press release. “The impact on the business is obvious: Workers want flexible work that pays a living wage.”

According to Wonolo, Baby boomers (57-75 years old) and X generations (41-56 years old) spend the most time on the Wonolo platform as gig economy workers, and Generation X earns the most money each month.

However, do not exclude Gen Z (18-25 years old) or Millennials (25-40 years old). In this study, generation Z’s hourly wage increase was the largest (11%) of all generations from 2019 to 2021.

In 2019, Gen Z accounted for only 8% of the total work done by Wonolo. This number has jumped to 22% in the past year, and it is expected that this number will continue to grow as more Gen Z enter the labor market.

Gig labor is obviously attractive to all generations because of its flexibility and the ability to earn side jobs. By 2022, the level of participation of Gen Z and whether baby boomers will continue to do odd jobs as they approach retirement will be interesting.

Robert Bruce is the senior author of The Penny Hoarder.

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