June’s job report revealed a 4.7 percent unemployment rate by adding 38,000 new “jobs.” But what does this really mean for the job landscape? One of the most popular terms this year has been “gig” as in, the Gig Economy. The Gig Economy references the ability to work ‘gigs’ such as driving for Uber, selling desserts from your home kitchen or writing blogs on behalf of a company. These small jobs can equal a nice cash flow for those able to work off hours or just add to their current workday. We’ve previously looked at this industry trend on our blog, but we’re keeping a close eye on it to find out of this trend may be just that, a trend, and not a long-standing employment strategy.
When a jobs report says that we have added jobs, there’s often more to it than the surface information. As we dig deeper into the reports, we see that the decrease in unemployment is partly due to people giving up looking for full-time work and moving on to gig jobs to serve as their source of income.
Personally, I think gigs are a great way to have a side job or even start your own business, but they are often seen as unstable employment. Many workers steer clear of this type of work opting instead for the stability of a job with a 401(k) and pension plan. This is a choice that keeps them feeling secure in their work.
However, many are eager to gain gig employment and are happy with this choice, as they are often able to supplement lost income. In fact, it’s claimed that Uber drivers make $6 more per hour than a traditional taxi driver. This and many other ‘extra income’ jobs are likely contributing to the estimate that by 2021, almost half of the workforce will have worked independently at some time during their work life.
Do you think the gig economy affects the numbers of the job report? Are you interested in, or do you have gig employment?