embracing the gig economy: how companies like uber and relode are changing the workforce

Are you or do you know someone who works based on short-term contracts or via freelance work? Congrats, you’re connected to the Gig Economy.

Gig Economy: a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short‐term contracts or freelance work, in particular those on‐demand jobs whose rapid growth can be attributed to the upsurge of digital platforms in recent years. *

Where did the Gig Economy come from?

New technology creates new opportunity, and the Gig Economy is no exception.

In the wake of a recession that drove years of unemployment, innovative peer-to-peer technologies, which have contributed to this shift toward on-demand jobs or “gigs,” are changing the face of the modern workforce. The launch of companies like rideshare giants Uber and Lyft, on-demand home or delivery services like Handy and Shipt, and peer-sourced recruiting like Relode are at the heart of it.

That’s because these tools enable people to earn money and leverage their skills in new, often-times more profitable ways, many of which weren’t even a possibility just a few years ago. While a portion of the Gig Economy use it for supplemental income—people like students or retirees—many people now rely on independent work for their full entire livelihood. Already more than five percent of millennials (ages 18-34) have earned income from an online platform over a 12-month period.

These gigs benefit both workers—serving as a primary or secondary income source—and the economy as they help bolster both job growth and household incomes in the post-Great Recession labor market.

The benefits of working in the Gig Economy

While the Gig Economy may have been born from necessity in the wake of high unemployment rates, being a 1099 worker or private contractor offers a host of benefits.

From being their own boss and concentrating specifically on what interests them to setting their hours around other priorities like school or family, independent workers have freedom and flexibility that most full-time employees only dream of. While independent contractors can charge more for their services, they don’t receive the same tangible benefits of in-house employees. But for many, the intangibles are worth it.

A 2016 McKinsey study found 30 to 45 percent of working-age Americans (including those currently working as full-time employees) would prefer to earn primary or supplemental income via the Gig Economy. That means if more of them could pursue the working style they really want; the number of independent workers could grow to somewhere between 76 to 129 million Americans.

Getting more for your skills, and your network

If you’re a healthcare recruiter or a healthcare worker with a large social network of doctors, nurses and/or healthcare IT professionals, Relode could be your foray into the Gig Economy. With referral rewards from $1,500 to $15,000, it can easily supplement your existing income or become a source of primary income.

Learn more about joining our network today!

*Research Report: The Gig Economy in the U.S. by the Texas Workforce Investment Council