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The “Gig” Economy

The Gig Economy is a business environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. For years, economists and pundits have prognosticated that the conventional 9-to-5 job work life would be replaced by an economy dominated by independent contractors, freelancers and temp workers who are retained through smartphone apps.

Yet this new-era business environment appears to be stalling. Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the share of Americans working in “alternative” work arrangements is shrinking rather than rising, declining from almost 11% in 2005 to approximately 10% last year.

However, there is a lot more to this than the statistics imply. There have been seismic shifts in the nature of the labor force that will be fueling a variety of changes. Most notable among these are the growing ranks of the baby boomer generation that will be looking to “supplement” income in an era of low returns on secure investments.

The Gig Economy is among the many megatrends that will continue to unfold and impact business, along with our society.

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