SIA sizes gig economy at 53 million workers, totals $1.3 trillion in revenue

Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) reports that 53 million workers take part in the gig economy, according to their upcoming report. SIA writes:

US revenue in the gig economy totaled $1.3 trillion in 2018 and it included 53 million workers, according to a recent report by Staffing Industry Analysts titled “The US Gig Economy.”

Its results are based on an SIA survey as well as data from the US Census Bureau, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and other research.

“This latest study reveals the size and breadth of the gig economy, and illustrates its impact as an important part of the US labor market,” SIA President Barry Asin said.

Often media reports list the gig economy as only electronically mediated work such as workers using Upwork or Uber. SIA includes all contingent workers in its definition of the gig economy, and the report breaks the gig workforce into five categories:

  • Temporary workers assigned by a staffing agency
  • People working via the human cloud (electronically mediated work)
  • Other independent contractors and business owners with no employees
  • Temporary employees sourced directly by companies
  • Salaried employees of consulting firms on consulting engagement with clients

“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,” according to the 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.”

Of the 53 million workers, 10.1 million were assigned as temporary workers by staffing firms, and 7.9 million were human cloud workers.

Source: SIA sizes gig economy at 53 million workers, totals $1.3 trillion in revenue

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