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US The Gig Economy Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the The Gig Economy market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key points included

  • Why gig work? More money, more flexibility<
  • If everyone you know has used Uber, you’re in a bubble
  • Who’s in the gig economy? Young men, more than any demographic

Covered in this report

This report examines consumer attitudes and behaviors toward the so-called “gig” economy, which is characterized by employment that is less permanent and on more of an ad hoc basis. Individuals may interface with the brands that comprise the gig economy as either a customer, an employee, or both, and it seems very likely that the future of labor in the US will bring with it a larger emphasis on this type of work.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Chris Shadle, a leading analyst in the Financial Services sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Working multiple jobs to bring in extra income is nothing new – just ask a substitute schoolteacher, bartender, or photographer. But in today’s economy, the proliferation of multiple “unicorn” tech startups has changed the landscape of our on-demand society, offering more options not only as a consumer, but as a worker for apps like Uber or Postmates Chris Shadle
Financial Services Analyst


What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Top takeaways
            • If everyone you know has used Uber, you’re in a bubble
              • Figure 1: App usage and interest in past year, by age, October 2019
            • Who’s in the gig economy? Young men, more than any demographic
              • Figure 2: Types of work in past year, October 2019
            • Why gig work? More money, more flexibility
              • Figure 3: Gig workers’ attitudes toward their work, October 2019
            • Consumers have a progressive view of the future of work
              • Figure 4: Attitudes toward the future of work, by age, October 2019
            • What it means/what’s next
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • The gig economy is difficult to quantify
                • Unemployment is low, but so is labor force participation and job quality
                • Market Size

                  • What consumers think about the gig economy
                    • Sizing the gig economy is tough!
                      • Figure 5: Alternative workers engaged in electronically mediated work, May 2017
                      • Figure 6: Types of income-earning work in past year, October 2019
                  • Market Factors

                    • Unemployment is low, but a third of working age individuals aren’t working
                      • Figure 7: Unemployment and Labor force participation rates, August 2007-November 2019
                    • Moreover, jobs are becoming lower quality
                      • Figure 8: US private sector job quality index (JQI), January 1990 - January 2019
                  • Trends Impacting the Gig Economy

                    • Straight to You
                      • Figure 9: Uber Freight acquisition mailing, July 2019
                    • Who Needs Humans
                      • Figure 10: Flyte by Lyft, homepage, January 2020
                      • Figure 11: Uber manifold, homepage, January 2020
                    • Retired for Hire
                      • Figure 12: Boomer breakdown by employment status and gender, April 2019
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • Banks need to find a meaningful way to assist gig workers
                      • Gig fought the law and…the law has been winning recently
                        • Credit card issuers reflect popularity of gig economy in rewards
                        • What’s Struggling

                          • How do banks fit into the gig economy?
                            • Figure 13: US Bank, informational email on gig economy, September 2019
                          • Workers’ rights, fair pay
                            • Regulatory battles, defeats
                              • Assembly Bill 5 threatens gig workers in CA
                                • Uber fined over half a billion dollars in New Jersey for not classifying drivers as employees
                                  • Airbnb takes a legislative blow (also in New Jersey, incidentally)
                                  • What’s New, What’s Next

                                    • Credit card issuer benefits reflect growth of gig economy brands
                                      • Figure 14: The Points Guy, best credit cards for Uber and Lyft, December 2019
                                      • Figure 15: Lyft & Mastercard loyalty email, January 2020
                                    • Investors can more easily enjoy a share of the gig economy’s success
                                      • Figure 16: SoFi information email, gig economy etf, May 2019
                                    • Uber launches staffing business in Chicago
                                      • Figure 17: Uber Works, December 2019
                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                    • The gig economy is thriving on mobile, but not as much as you may think
                                      • Just over one in six workers are involved in the gig economy
                                        • Flexibility, more income attract gig workers
                                          • Gig workers have fewer benefits; gig-only workers have very few
                                            • Consumers think progressively about the future of work
                                            • Gig Economy Brands

                                              • It’s the age of the app, but many consumers simply aren’t interested
                                                • Figure 18: App usage and interest in past year, October 2019
                                              • Ride-hailing apps are used the most; food delivery piques most interest
                                                • Figure 19: App usage and interest in past year, by age, October 2019
                                            • How People Work

                                              • About half of consumers are working full-time
                                                • Figure 20: Types of work in past year, October 2019
                                              • Who is a gig worker?
                                                • Figure 21: Types of work in past year, October 2019
                                              • Men, minorities and young folks are most eager to join the gig economy
                                                • Figure 22: Intention to work in the gig economy, by age, October 2019
                                                • Figure 23: Intention to work in the gig economy, by gender, race and ethnicity, October 2019
                                            • Why Gig Work?

                                              • Flexible schedule, supplemental income
                                                • Figure 24: Gig workers’ attitudes toward their work, October 2019
                                                • Figure 25: Lyft acquisition email, December 2019
                                                • Figure 26: Uber “New Year’s Eve Quest” email, December 2019
                                              • Young workers also want stability, at odds with gig economy
                                                • Figure 27: Factors in improving economic situation, May 2018
                                            • Employment Benefits

                                              • Gig workers have fewer benefits
                                                • Figure 28: Access to employee benefits, all workers vs gig workers vs exclusively gig workers, October 2019
                                              • What perks gig workers are afforded are used less often
                                                • Figure 29: Use of employee benefits, all workers vs those in the gig economy, October 2019
                                            • Attitudes toward Work

                                              • Half would consider gig work in the future, but most don’t think it’s enough to provide for a family
                                                • Figure 30: Attitudes toward gig work, by generation, October 2019
                                              • Most think automation is going to change the nature of work; freelancing will be much more popular
                                                • Figure 31: Attitudes toward the future of work, by age, October 2019
                                              • People want expansion of government safety nets
                                                • Figure 32: Attitudes toward social security, Medicare and UBI, October 2019
                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                              • Data sources
                                                • Consumer survey data
                                                  • Consumer qualitative research
                                                    • Direct marketing creative
                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                          • Terms

                                                          This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

                                                          • Market

                                                            Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

                                                          • Consumer

                                                            Mintel's proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

                                                          • Brand/Company

                                                            Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

                                                          • Data

                                                            Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                                                          Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.