In a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees. A gig economy undermines the traditional economy of full-time workers who rarely change positions and instead focus on a lifetime career.
- The gig economy is based on flexible, temporary, or freelance jobs, often involving connecting with clients or customers through an online platform.
- The gig economy can benefit workers, businesses, and consumers by making work more adaptable to the needs of the moment and demand for flexible lifestyles.
- At the same time, the gig economy can have downsides due to the erosion of traditional economic relationships between workers, businesses, and clients.
Understanding the Gig Economy
In a gig economy, large numbers of people work part-time or temporary positions. The result of a gig economy is cheaper, more efficient services, such as Uber or Airbnb, for those willing to use them. Those who don't engage in using technological services such as the Internet tend to be left behind by the benefits of the gig economy. Cities tend to have the most highly developed services and are the most entrenched in the gig economy.
There is a wide range of positions that fall into the category of a gig. For example, adjunct and part-time professors are contracted employees as opposed to tenured or tenure-track professors. Colleges and universities can cut costs and match professors to their academic needs by hiring more adjunct and part-time professors.