COVID-19 Fuels the Gig Economy

McKenna Janzen | Sep 01, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted thousands of businesses, millions of workers and the economy as a whole. While the future is still unknown, the gig economy presents an attractive alternative and a promising future for those looking for local work opportunities.

The number of those furloughed, laid off, or shuttered from their jobs continues to evolve. As a result, gig work is no longer just a fad. Many displaced workers have turned to the gig economy to supplement their income during this difficult time, not unlike they did during the last recession.

Gig workers have control over their schedules, the pay they accept, and their business relationships allowing them to be more flexible. With the current state of U.S. businesses, it is easy to see how the flexibility of working on-demand is appealing. As the need for essential businesses increases, from shoppers to drivers and laborers, companies need the ability to scale their staff quickly to meet demand.

Demand for Gig Work is Up

GigSmart observed the need for temporary workers grow rapidly. Daily demand for our gig economy apps has increased by 25% per day since the virus was declared a national emergency in the United States on March 13, 2020. GigSmart is fortunate enough to have access to a wealth of data around the skills, pay rates and geographies of the people who continue to utilize our apps to facilitate work. We leveraged this data to share trends that have arisen pre-COVID and today.

What Skills Are Most Requested?

GigSmart has seen the largest surge in demand for services such as moving drivers, warehouse laborers, packers and loaders while others, like hostesses, bartenders and retail merchandisers saw a drastic reduction.

Since the start of the pandemic, several skills have experienced a substantial rise in their hourly pay rates. The skills with the largest gains include furniture movers, warehouse laborers, and handymen. To see just how much each skill’s hourly pay rate increased, download our Special Report: COVID-19 Fuels the Gig Economy by clicking here.

Overall, the average Get Gigs worker’s hourly pay has increased from $17/hour from the period before COVID-19, to almost $22/hour. The increased demand in certain sectors left companies urgently needing help which led to overall hourly pay rate increases that were beneficial for GigSmart workers.

Regional trends were also uncovered. The metros with the largest increases in completed gigs were Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Las Vegas, NV; Houston, TX; and Chicago, IL.

How Americans Can Get Back to Work

While millions of Americans are staying home, gig workers have become a crucial lifeline for essential business, a path to job recovery, and a valid way to earn a living. At GigSmart, we feel fortunate to help connect those essential businesses overwhelmed by high demand, to individuals looking for work. Our hiring apps instantly and affordably connect businesses to temporary workers to help them meet demand.

To read more about our findings, download GigSmart’s Special COVID-19 Data Report now.

Back to Blog