The gig economy has been a major component of the American workforce for a lot longer than you may think. The origin of gig work dates all the way back to 1915, when jazz musicians would get paid for playing individual performances, or “gigs.”
More than 100 years later, the use of the word “gig” has certainly grown and changed. But the importance and influence of gig work on our economy and society will be felt more than ever in 2022. It’s estimated that about 23% of workers will quit their jobs this year. However, that doesn’t mean they’re quitting work altogether.
Many workers are quitting old jobs for new ones. Workers are also pivoting to new career opportunities, and in some cases, switching industries completely. Finding jobs via Wonolo is conducive to all these things. Therefore, workers are flocking to the platform to take advantage of new opportunities, uplevel job skills, and much more.
The global gig economy is expected to grow from $204 billion in 2018 to $455 billion in 2023, and here are four reasons why the gig economy is going to thrive in 2022.
The Gig Economy Is Multi-Generational
We took a deep dive into our data to identify gig economy trends among multiple generations of workers. As it turns out, age really is just a number when it comes to temporary work opportunities.
We found that 20% of baby boomers (ages 57-75) and 20% of Generation X (ages 41-56) are doing more than two gigs per week through Wonolo. Moreover, Gen Xers took home the most money per month on average from gig work through Wonolo when compared to the other three generations we surveyed. But we can’t discount Generation Z (ages 20-24). Gen Zers saw the sharpest increase in average hourly earnings between 2019 and now with a whopping 11%.
This data suggests that multiple generations of workers will fuel the gig economy in a big way in 2022. Whether you’re a 20-year-old college student looking for a quick retail gig after class, or a 65-year-old looking to bolster your retirement fund with a flexible fulfillment job, the gig economy offers something for everybody – regardless of age.
The Gig Economy Provides Ample Opportunities
In a recent survey of more than 3,000 Wonoloers, respondents said higher wages (74%), flexibility (63%), and learning new skills (48%) were the top reasons they’re leaving a current job or looking for more opportunities. As workers continue to leave their jobs, NPR says 2022 could be the year of “The Great Renegotiation,” rather than “The Great Resignation.” When speaking to NPR on the subject, Chief economist of LinkedIn, Karin Kimbrough, said there are twice as many jobs on LinkedIn as there were a year ago. And when jobs are plentiful, workers have the power to negotiate for more favorable conditions or seek better opportunities altogether.
Wonolo is experiencing the rise in available jobs firsthand. Job postings on the platform have steadily increased since October 2020. In fact, the number of jobs posted on Wonolo have more than doubled in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the same period the year before. The number of people using Wonolo to find jobs has also recently skyrocketed. Sixty-five percent of the survey respondents mentioned above said they are first-time Wonolo users. Between October 2020 and October 2021 alone, nearly half a million job seekers signed up to use the Wonolo app for the first time. With many companies posting open jobs through Wonolo, it’s a great time for workers to download the app for their next opportunity.
The Gig Economy Works Anywhere
Some workers leverage gig economy jobs for the flexibility to try new things and explore different industries. In many other cases, workers want the flexible schedules of temporary work in order to balance school, families, or multiple jobs. However, there is also another type of flexibility that hasn’t always been available for temporary workers. Specifically, the ability to work while traveling.
In our survey, almost half of respondents (46%) told us they plan to use Wonolo while traveling to find opportunities in different cities and areas. One Wonoloer has famously used the app to find work while traveling around the country in a van for over two years. But Evan is not the only Wonoloer who has successfully used Wonolo on the road.
“Wonolo has helped me find some temporary jobs during the time I am looking for a more permanent position. And I’m in transition,” said Jennifer Trab, another avid Wonoloer. “Also, I’m a traveler. So, I appreciate jobs being available wherever I visit.” Wonolo is available in many different cities across the U.S. Workers who use the platform get the huge benefit of being able to see the country. Meanwhile, they are bolstering their skills and finding new opportunities.
The Gig Economy Can Include Traditional Perks
In addition to travel, more traditional benefits haven’t always been easily accessible to temporary workers. Things like health insurance, financial services, or tax assistance haven’t always been synonymous with the gig economy. Nonetheless, Wonolo is working hard with third-party partnerships to change that and bring more resources to Wonoloers.
Workers using the Wonolo platform can sign up for special perks through Wonolo Up, a program that connects workers with a variety of best-in-class providers. With Wonolo Up, Wonoloers can access resources that have been more traditionally offered to full-time workers.
Some of Wonolo Up’s partners can help Wonoloers save money on prescriptions and gain access to a nationwide network of expert doctors and dentists. Others can help build up credit scores and much more. Additionally, Wonoloers can accrue rewards for completing jobs posted on the platform and meeting certain thresholds. Wonoloers can cash out these rewards while continuing to accept jobs, or spend a relaxing day at home.
Are You Ready to Be Part of the Gig Economy?
Due in large part to consistent inflation and the persistent pandemic, 2022 began with a bit of uncertainty. But workers have many reasons to remain positive this year. Jobs that give them the flexibility, opportunity and possibility they want and deserve are still readily available. If you’re looking for temporary work opportunities, give Wonolo a try to work when and where you want.