Research reveals that payment speed could significantly improve gig economy’s growth.
San Francisco, California – Hyperwallet, a leading global payouts provider to millions of small businesses and individual freelancers, today released the next iteration of the Gig Economy Index™, a research collaboration with PYMNTS.com. Over 1,000 gig economy workers were surveyed for the report to determine who they are, what services they perform, how they are paid, and why they choose to work in the gig economy.
“This research shows a work model that is moving from adolescence into maturity,” observed Brent Warrington, Hyperwallet’s CEO. “Individuals from all backgrounds are finding their place in the gig economy, and a growing number of people are able to support themselves exclusively through gig work. We also see a growing number of companies operating outside of the gig economy that have come to rely on freelancers to fill temporary gaps in their workforce.”
Key findings of the Gig Economy Index™ include:
Gig workers are here to stay
Once an individual enters the gig economy, they’re unlikely to give up freelancing in pursuit of a more stable role. According to the study, roughly two-thirds (65 percent) of gig workers would not quit their gig for a full-time job, compared with the small portion of giggers (15 percent) who say that full-time work is their ultimate goal. This could be a sign of growing stability in the gig economy: more than a quarter (27 percent) of gig workers report that they are able to support themselves with a single gig, and nearly half (47 percent) say that they receive at least 40 percent of their income from gig economy jobs.
Payment speed impacts gig worker productivity
Although gig workers are typically paid more quickly than their nine-to-five counterparts, improved payment speed could incentivize giggers to take on more jobs. Three-quarters (75 percent) of gig workers are paid within one week of gig completion. Still, four in five (81 percent) giggers say that they would do more gig work if they received their earnings faster.
“When we talk about payment speed, it’s important to remember that many American workers are living from paycheck to paycheck,” said Warrington. “It’s not necessarily about getting ahold of spending money faster. Often, gig workers need their earnings to pay their rent, buy groceries, or cover the expenses associated with their gigging. A delayed payment can be the difference between taking on some additional work or hunkering down and waiting for that check.”
Income is still the biggest reason to enter the gig economy
For all the talk about work/life balance, gig workers report that income is the main reason for working a gig. Over half (51 percent) of giggers say that earning money is the determining factor in their continued participation in the gig economy. Moreover, two-thirds (67 percent) of gig workers who also have a full-time job say that they work gigs primarily for the supplemental income. Work-hour flexibility was the second-most popular explanation for gig work, with roughly a quarter (23 percent) of gig workers citing it as their main reason for working in the gig economy.
“Flexibility is obviously an attractive feature of the gig economy, but it doesn’t pay the bills,” said Warrington. “More individuals are coming to rely on gig work as their primary source of income, and that means the speed, convenience, and cost at which they receive their earnings becomes all the more important. Companies need to recognize that growth of the gig economy will depend, in large part, on providing full-time giggers with the tools they need to be successful.”
To download a full copy of the report, visit http://www.pymnts.com/gig-economy-index/.
The Gig Economy Index™ is a study of 1,070 U.S. gig workers, distributed by Hyperwallet and PYMNTS.com, to better understand workers in the gig economy—who they are, what services they supply to this economy, and the percent of their overall income the gigs represent. The report was developed and distributed in Spring 2017.