With millions of workers getting checks from the government as part of the COVID-19 economic relief package, economists, policymakers, and business leaders want to know: Will this money make people less likely to work? 

For gig workers, the answer appears to be NO. Only 1.6% of workers using Wonolo said they plan to work less because of a stimulus check. This helps show the power of gig work – worker sentiment translates into action because gig workers choose when to work. 

(Note: Workers who use the Wonolo app are called Wonoloers.)👇

The results above are from a survey Wonolo sent to workers the week of March 21. Workers in 15 states, from cities and rural areas, responded. This survey went to “active” workers – meaning those who’d recently completed a job they found via Wonolo.  

Of all the workers surveyed, 60 percent said they’d received a stimulus check or expected to. The remainder said they weren’t sure if they’d receive a check or said they won’t receive a check. 

This survey is helpful because it’s direct feedback from workers themselves about how stimulus checks will affect their behavior. Other surveys have taken the pulse of workers. For example, CNN released the results of a recent survey pointing to people using their stimulus checks to pay down debt or pad their savings.  

But workers are only part of the story. 

Because Wonolo helps connect workers AND businesses, we get to see two perspectives. And one thing we’re noticing – though we don’t have hard data, yet – is more companies coming to us to connect with labor. Recently, we’ve been getting some version of the following from companies: 

  • Stimulus checks are making it hard for me to recruit/keep staff. Can you help?
  • Local staffing agencies won’t even discuss new business negotiations with me due to stimulus and unemployment checks. 
  • Nobody wants to work so why even bother engaging an agency to connect with temp workers?
  • Our needs have exceeded the number of workers we can bring in through current sourcing channels.

“Over the last few weeks alone, our team here at Wonolo has never seen this level of urgency for hourly workers,” says Jordan Wissel, Director of Sales at Wonolo. “There seem to be two driving factors that are in fact working against each other: stimulus checks (and anticipated tax returns) are driving up consumer spending, while extended unemployment insurance is creating a supply-constrained environment where it feels like it’s impossible to keep pace with skyrocketing demand for workers.”

We’ll continue to monitor the effect of the stimulus checks on workers and businesses. If you have any questions or want to talk with workers or businesses affected by the stimulus checks, we would be happy to help.