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Report: Get Ready to Thrive in the Gig Economy

Tracey Klein
By Tracey Klein
on November 11, 2019

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In a world of talent scarcity, many organizations are relying on non-employee or gig workers as a primary resource for getting work done. From freelancers to contractors and contingent talent, the flexible workers are here to stay, and today’s savvy businesses are adapting by learning how to tap into the growing market force known as the gig economy.

Is your business ready? Gain insight in our latest report, “Staying Ahead of the Evolving Gig Economy.

What is the Gig Economy?

The gig economy is a label used to represent the non-traditional workforce. As opposed to traditional, ”permanent” employees, it describes that portion of the workforce and the work performed through the use of flexible workers.

More specifically, Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) defines flexible workers as:

  • Temporary agency workers assigned through a staffing agency
  • Temporary employees sourced directly and without a staffing agency
  • Independent contractors/self-employed with no employees
  • Workers for a client employed through services providers and consulting firms
  • Human cloud workers

“By our definition, a contingent worker is anyone earning money by performing work that has a limited tenure from the client’s perspective, whether a summer intern or an outside consultant brought in for a project,” suggests SIA in its “The U.S. Gig Economy” report. “SIA treats the gig economy as synonymous with contingent work, as we see no reason to limit the concept of a ‘gig’ solely to transactions mediated online.”

How Big is the Gig Economy?

The gig economy is a genuine part of today’s global marketplace. SIA’s report estimates U.S. revenue in the gig economy totaled $1.3 trillion in 2018 and included 53 million workers. It also states the global gig economy in 2018 totaled $4.5 trillion. Others project that the majority of U.S. workers will be contract workers in less than 10 years. In other words, the gig economy is large, and it is here to stay.

What Do Regulators Have to Say?

While the gig concept provides workers with several benefits, including a flexible schedule and the ability to select assignments they want, there are some challenges for both sides of the worker-employer relationship. For example, gig workers do not receive the same level of benefits, such as health insurance, that go hand-in-hand with full-time employment. On the other side of the issue, if an organization misclassifies talent as gig workers when they are, in fact, “employees,” and thus fails to provide the benefits due to employees, the company could face legal costs and fines, reputational damage, and more.

Clearly, the issue of classification creates regulatory and legislative concerns. Intense debates and new guidelines are emerging and making headlines as a result. The state of California is consuming many recent headlines, and companies that engage flexible workers may soon face having to comply with parameters much stronger than federal guidelines to determine contractor classification. Most recently, the California governor passed legislation making it harder for employers to classify workers as independent contractors, beginning on January 1, 2020. Many interests, including companies like Uber that stand to see their business model dramatically change, are working to establish exceptions to the regulation.


Strategies to Stay Ahead

With more headlines like these bound to emerge, AGS’ “Staying Ahead of the Gig Economy” report helps organizations capitalize on the growing, flexible workforce. Download your copy today to gain a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities for gig workers, unlock some best practices for engaging the flexible workforce, and discover how the right talent partner can help businesses take advantage of this evolving talent pool.

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Tracey Klein
Written by Tracey Klein
Executive Director, Global Partner Alliance

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