Gig economy grows despite COVID-19 pandemic

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A new report finds one in six workers are gig workers, meaning they are paid either as independent contractors or as short-term employees working no more than six months. These are generally non-traditional employees and are likely not full-time with benefits and one paycheck from one employer. Guest host Christina Estes spoke with Charles Jackson, president of the Association for Entrepreneurship USA about the growing gig economy.

ADP Research Institute looked at payroll data from 75-thousand companies and conducted surveys and interviews to examine the changing composition of the workforce. Their study found that gig workers grew 15% between 2010 and 2015. DaVinci Payments, a company that handles payments for gig businesses, surveyed their customers and found that 80% of workers expect about the same or even more gig work.

None of this surprises Jackson. “We’re finding more and more of our population is looking for ways to have better control over their own finances and their income,” Jackson said.

There are benefits to being a gig entrepreneur, like working for yourself and setting your own hours. However, this kind of work comes with responsibilities, according to Jackson. “When you’re a gig economy entrepreneur or small business person, there’s an element of responsibility that comes into play. You need to be able to set your finances, in terms of your payroll taxes,” he said.

“You’re responsible for your own healthcare, your own retirement. This type of work is not for everyone, so therefore those who take the responsibility and wish to have more control over the future will take those steps to make sure that it’s set for themselves and their families.”

Despite the growing amount of gig entrepreneurs, Jackson doesn’t see an end to a traditional employment type. “I think we’re still going to have the hourly employee, those who like to be more structured,” Jackson said.

Charles Jackson, President of the Association for Entrepreneurship USA

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