Gig economy in Arizona growing

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An increasing number of businesses face staffing shortages. As such, they’re turning to gig workers to fill the gaps. We spoke with Wayne Goshkarian of the Association for Entrepreneurship to learn more.

What is a gig worker?

Goshkarian: “A gig worker in modern terms is someone that works on their own. They’re an entrepreneur. Maybe they’re sitting at home, they could be anywhere in the world, but they’ve decided to start their own business”

Are we seeing more of these gig workers now?

“Absolutely. When you look at what the internet and the smartphone have done to our lives today. I was watching TV, and this guy had an app, and he went into this store, this second-hand store, and he scans a barcode and sees this item is on Amazon for $60, and he can buy it for $10 and simultaneously post it to his Amazon account.”

Who are these gig workers?

“I’ll break that into three parts. First is the retirees.  The reality is that it’s a very small percentage of retirees that can truly be well off enough to travel and do all the other things they talked about the rest of their lives. The rest need to supplement their income. Grandma is maybe doing daycare in the house with four or five kids during the day, grandpa is doing Uber, the list goes on and on.  There’s a big retiree population that’s using gigs to supplement their income.”

“Next, let’s go to the people who are working adults.  The world is different. It used to be you worked at a bank for 30 years, now the bank’s name has changed 4 or 5 times. Technology is phasing out some of these jobs A lot of these employees are looking for ways to increase their standard of living, and they’re not finding it in the workplace.”

“Finally, let’s talk about the younger generation. When they were born, the iPhone was around. Now they’re going into high school and now college and really rethinking, do they want to work for someone? We at the Association hire interns from Grand Canyon University, and they’re looking at starting their own business and building apps and all this other stuff.”

What about the challenges for gig workers?

“Insurance is probably the single biggest challenge for gig workers. They’re used to their employer providing and also subsidizing health insurance and other benefits. That’s probably the biggest single thing.”

“But the challenges are really: do they have enough self-discipline without someone telling them to be at work at 8:00. There’s a lot of self-discipline.”

Wayne Goshkarian, Director of Communications, Association for Entrepreneurship

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