Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the U.S Gig Economy markets, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

COVID-19 has significantly affected the gig economy, from its workers to the behaviors of consumers using these services. Prepandemic, ride sharing was the most used gig service. Because of lockdown restrictions, food delivery services were essential as people sheltered in their homes. Moving forward, which services consumers use the most will depend on how they adjust in the next normal. For gig workers whose income is sporadic and job security low, their financial future remains a challenge – one that the financial services industry can meaningfully guide them through.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our U.S Food and U.S Financial market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the gig economy.
  • The future of the gig economy in light of COVID-19 and legal regulations.
  • How gig workers manage their finances.
  • Opportunities for financial services brands to build relationships with their gig-working customers.

Covered in this report

Definitions used: Freelancer, Permalancer (eg long-term freelancer), Rental property host (eg,Airbnb, VRBO), Ride share driver (eg Uber, Lyft), Food delivery driver (eg Grubhub, Instacart), Delivery driver (eg Amazon Flex), Service-based fulfilment (eg TaskRabbit, Dolly), Brand representative (eg Glossier).

Brands featured: Uber, Doordash, Uber Eats, GrubHub, Lyft, Instacart, Airbnb, Postmates and more.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Amr Hamdi, 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.

The gig economy has grown in popularity over the past few years, as people keep looking for alternative ways to make money on their own time. During the pandemic, delivery services were in high demand, as consumers feared contracting COVID-19. The gig workers delivering these essential services were among the most financially vulnerable groups during the pandemic. The variable income has meant that gig workers face more challenges on their road towards financial freedom. As financial services brands move forward, they have the chance to build relationships with their gig-working customers and ensure that they are adequately served and financially protected.

Amir Hamdi
Financial Services Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Gig work is a young person’s industry
      • Figure 1: Types of work in the past year, by age and gender, January 2021
    • COVID-19 changed gig focus from ride sharing to delivery services
      • Figure 2: App usage and interest in past year, by generation, January 2021
    • Over a quarter of gig workers deposit their payments in a gig-specific account
      • Figure 3: Gig workers’ financial management, by age, January 2021
    • Market overview
    • Impact of COVID-19 on the gig economy
      • Figure 4: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the gig economy, March 2021
    • Opportunities and Challenges
    • The gig economy will continue to grow as the economy recovers
    • IRA plans could appeal to gig workers
    • Delivery platforms remain at odds
    • Restaurants moving to direct delivery could spell trouble for delivery apps
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • The size of the gig economy remains tough to measure
    • Pandemic highlights vulnerability of gig workers
    • Proposition 22 troubling for the future of gig workers
  4. Market Size

    • Sizing the gig economy remains a struggle
      • Figure 5: Alternative workers engaged in electronically mediated work, May 2017
      • Figure 6: Types of work done in the past year – Net, January 2021
      • Figure 7: Types of work done in the past year, January 2021
    • Who is in the Gig economy?
      • Figure 8: Types of work in the past year, by age, January 2021
      • Figure 9: Types of work in past year, by race and ethnicity, January 2021
    • Consumers less willing to join the gig economy as COVID-19 fears continue
    • Impact of COVID-19 on the gig economy
      • Figure 10: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the gig economy, March 2021
    • Lockdown
    • Re-emergence
    • Recovery
    • COVID-19: US context
  5. Market Factors

    • Unemployment is declining, but fewer people remain engaged in the workforce
      • Figure 11: Unemployment and underemployment and labor force participation, January 2007-November 2020
    • Future GDP growth could forecast lower unemployment rates
      • Figure 12: GDP change from previous period, Q1 2007-Q3 2020
    • Proposition 22 proves another setback for gig worker rights
  6. Market Opportunities

    • Gig workers stand to benefit from financial services expertise
      • Figure 13: Types of work in the past year, by financial situation, January 2021
    • Remote opportunities ideal for gig workers fearing COVID-19 exposure
    • Digital banking solutions likely to attract gig workers
      • Figure 14: Indi, February 2020
      • Figure 15: Plum, the AI assistant that grows your money, February 2021
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Uber, DoorDash lead in usage and interest
      • Figure 16: App usage and interest in the past year, January 2021
    • Focusing on community relations key for Uber
      • Figure 17: Uber Eats, Help the people who move what matters, April 2020
    • Lyft continues to offer free and discounted rides on Election Day
      • Figure 18: Lyft, The Ride to Vote, August 2018
    • Autonomous vehicles remain far away, causing Uber to stop their pursuit of self-driving and focus on core businesses
      • Figure 19: BBC, California’s first driverless delivery service, December 2020
    • Interest in travel remains strong as Airbnb looks to take full advantage
      • Figure 20: US search activity in the last 12 months for Airbnb, Hilton, Marriott, VRBO, and Expedia
      • Figure 21: Airbnb City Portal, September 2020
    • Age of the subscription
      • Figure 22: DoorDash partners with Chase, January 2020
      • Figure 23: Grubhub+ subscription, February 2021
  8. Competitive Strategies

    • For accommodation services, referrals remain integral
      • Figure 24: Vrbo affiliate program, February 2021
      • Figure 25: Airbnb Associates program, November 2020
    • Uber expands its delivery business, but it may not be enough
    • Diversity and speed remains key for growth
      • Figure 26: DoorDash partners with Macy’s, October 2020
  9. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Baby Boomers flock back to restaurants, Gen Z and Millennials order in
    • Ride sharing falls; accommodation services pique the interest of many
    • Supplemental income, making ends meet among the biggest drivers to do gig work
    • Lack of benefits would not deter consumers from joining the gig economy
  10. A Look Ahead at the Gig Economy

    • Ride sharing will recover the slowest out of the three main gig sectors
    • Accommodation services poised for growth off the heels of summer 2021
    • Consumers will use food delivery less often when they feel more comfortable back in restaurants and grocery stores
  11. App Usage and Interest Levels

    • Food delivery booms; ride sharing falls as many consumers continue to stay home
      • Figure 27: App usage and interest in past two years, January 2021
    • Gen Z and Millennials are the most active users of the gig economy
      • Figure 28: App usage and interest in past year, by generation, January 2021
  12. Reasons for Working a Gig

    • The need for more income is the biggest motivator for gig work
      • Figure 29: Gig workers’ attitudes towards their job, by age and parental status, January 2021
    • A flexible work life and making ends among the biggest reasons for working a gig
      • Figure 30: Gig workers’ attitudes towards their job, by age January 2021
      • Figure 31: Uber job description, February 2021
    • Nearly 20% work for competing gig companies
  13. Looking for a Gig

    • Hispanic, Black men are most eager to seek out gig work
      • Figure 32: Intentions about working in the gig economy, by gender, race, and ethnicity, January 2021
    • One in 10 adults are looking for vehicle-based gigs
      • Figure 33: Intentions about working in the gig economy, by gender, race and ethnicity, January 2021
    • Gen Z and Millennials willing to rent out their homes; older consumers still prefer hotels
      • Figure 34: Intentions about working in the gig economy, by age, January 2021
      • Figure 35: Intended transportation for local vacations, by generation, August 2020
  14. Gigs and Finances

    • Just over a quarter of gig workers have their payments deposited into a gig-specific account
      • Figure 36: Gig workers’ financial management, by age, January 2021
    • US adults still prefer full-time employment
      • Figure 37: Gig workers’ financial management, by age, January 2021
    • Workers that separate their gig payments are less likely to own core financial products
      • Figure 38: Gig workers’ financial management, by financial products owned, January 2021
  15. COVID-19 and the Gig Economy

    • Half of consumers in the gig economy sought out gig work because of the pandemic
      • Figure 39: Gig economy during COVID-19, January 2021
  16. The Future of the Gig Economy

    • Majority expect automation to change the nature of work; gig work will keep growing in popularity
      • Figure 40: Attitudes towards work, January 2021
    • Lack of benefits would not deter consumers from joining the gig economy
      • Figure 41: Attitudes towards work, January 2021
    • Gen Z and Millennials are the most open to gig work in the future
      • Figure 42: Attitudes towards gig work, by generation, January 2021
    • Asian and Hispanic consumers fear for their jobs the most
      • Figure 43: Job security fears, by race, January 2021
    • Fewer people would consider gig work in the future
      • Figure 44: Gig work consideration in the next 1-2 years, January 2021
      • Figure 45: Gig work consideration in the future, October 2019
  17. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

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