Nearly 10 million Americans will be part of the gig economy by 2021, up from 3.8 million in 2016, according to new research from Intuit and Emergent Research, Recode reports.
By 2021, the number of gig jobs will exceed the current number of jobs in finance or construction, according to the research.
In all, there are now more gig workers than people employed in the entire information sector and IT services combined, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Using gig workers is really about creating agile business ecosystems that bring in the right competence exactly when an organization needs it. Tech leaders can hire gig workers for almost any type of IT project. Once the project is complete, employee and employer can move on freely. Or, if a company finds a worker that’s an excellent fit, the company could offer the worker a more permanent position.
But businesses aren’t the only benefactors. "Gigging" allows workers the flexibility and variety. Gig workers have the freedom to work on different projects and for different companies, allowing them to learn new skills and constantly add to their resume.
The gig economy is gaining traction as employers and workers alike look for more flexibility. Last summer, LinkedIn launched a marketplace aimed at connecting gig workers with companies that need their services. At that time, LinkedIn noted that the number of freelancers on its site alone grew by nearly 50% in just the past five years.
Now Senator Mark Warner, D-VA, has proposed a bill that would allocate $20 million to "incentivize" organizations to try new benefit models for the independent workforce. Warner's hope is to eventually create a "safety net" for gig workers that the reflects the flexible employment landscape.