Christopher Ruel
Christopher Ruel
Community and Social Marketing, Wiley

What is a gig economy? According to Investopedia, gig economies arise when companies, rather than hiring full-time employees, engage independent contractors and freelancers. Since a large number of workers want to participate in a gig economy for any number of reasons, the results are cheaper and more efficient services.


How much do you know about a gig economy? We found ten facts about today’s gig economy and the motivation behind workers wanting more flexible employment opportunities.



  1. 1/3rd of all workers in the U.S. and European Union are freelancers and 86% of professional freelancers choose freelancing.
  2. 36% of the U.S. workforce, or 57 million people freelanced in 2016
  3. Nearly 20% of U.S. full-time independent contractors earn more than $100,000.
  4. By 2020, it is estimated that 7.6 million Americans will be working in the gig economy.
  5. 63% of executives would choose freelancing if given the opportunity.
  6. 69% of millennials regret not choosing a job with better work/life balance and 44% wish they enjoyed their job more.
  7. 74% of North American office workers would quit their current jobs if offered a job that allowed them to work remotely more often.
  8. 44% of business leaders believe the changing nature of work and flexible work are the greatest drivers of industry change.
  9. While 50% of U.S. jobs are compatible with remote work arrangements, only 7% of employers make flexible hours available to employees
  10. Just 30% of U.S. employees consider themselves engaged at work.


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