In 2021, Americans are working differently than we did just two years ago. Many people lost their jobs or lost hours during the ongoing pandemic. The unemployment rate grew to 14% and 59% of freelancers lost some of their income. This, coupled with the newfound flexibility of remote work, and the general atmosphere of scarcity across the board, has caused many more Americans to turn to gig work to make ends meet or to boost their current income.
In fact, the gig economy grew by a rate of 8.25x faster than the overall economy in 2020, for a total growth of 33%. Across the globe, there are 1.1 billion gig workers, with 55 million of them residing in the US, as 2 million more of us began to dabble in gig work for the first time ever just last year.
Right now, 34% of Americans are involved in gig work, and unsurprisingly a lot of it has to do with delivery. Particularly since the height of the COVID pandemic, delivery services have experienced rapid growth, and this vertical is expected to grow to $200 billion in the next 4 years. Delivery drivers are making a decent income at 50k per year, which contributes to a projected annual growth rate of 10.3%.
Deliveries certainly aren’t all food related either. Ride-hauling, grocery deliveries, retail product deliveries, and running errands are all part of the delivery avenue for gig work.
Right now, there are 7 major categories of gig work and 4 out of 5 companies plan to increase their use of gig workers in the near future. Freelancers will be a huge part of the economic recovery for a post-pandemic US. Through the categories of home services, automotive, general labor, personal services, animal care, events & entertainment, and computer services, gig workers will become even more valuable and even more common.