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5+ Gig Economy Examples to Understand the Job Market

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Having a 9-5 job is a blessing. You get to work regular hours, have a stable income, and enjoy the benefits of a full-time contract. However, some people like to have more freedom in their work schedule.

That’s where the gig economy market comes in. Not only does it offer independent workers flexible hours, but it also allows companies to hire employees with lower costs.

There’s more to it than that, though. So, today, I cover 5 gig economy examples to show you what the market is like.

Basics: A Quick Background

Before delving into detailed examples, I want to ensure you understand the basics of the gig economy market.

What Is the Gig Economy?

The gig economy is a market where companies hire an independent, temporary worker or freelancer for a specific project.

Although gig workers don’t get job security, they enjoy more freedom than full-time employees because their schedule is more flexible.

Since gig workers are essentially outsourced contractors, companies don’t have to pay for health coverage or paid vacations. That means they can focus on providing high-quality services at cheaper prices.  

What Is Considered a Gig Job?

A gig job is when an employer hires skilled workers to do one specific task for a specific time. That task could take 15 minutes or a few months, depending on the nature of the job.

The most famous examples of gig economy jobs are the ones you can find on Upwork. Some of the short-term projects on that online platform include composing, drawing, tutoring, or video editing.

Who Are Known as Gig Workers?

A gig worker is any individual who uses specific skill sets to land short-term or task-based jobs. Freelance video editors would pass as gig workers. They don’t have full-time contracts and usually work on certain projects for a specific time.

Another example would be Uber drivers. As an independent contractor, an Uber driver doesn’t have specific work hours. They’re free to work whenever they want and make as many pickups as they want.

5 Gig Economy Examples That Help You Understand This Economy

Now that you understand what gigs are, I want to give you a few examples to help you form an accurate idea.

1. Content Writers

When the pandemic hit, more people decided to take up freelance writing to earn extra income. Now, it’s one of the most famous fields in the gig economy market.

What Is Content Creation in the Gig Economy?

With the rise of digital platforms, companies have realized they need more written content than commercials and billboards. Whether it’s for social media or blog posts, they can use that content to promote their goods and services.

That’s where content writers come in. This type of work in the gig economy allows companies to gain traffic with lower costs.

Additionally, gig economy platforms allow companies to communicate with creators around the world. So they get access to a wide variety of talents. That makes choosing gig economy writers an easy choice.

Why Is Content Creation Considered Part of the Gig Economy?

To be clear: Not all content writers are gig economy workers. Some work full-time. Others are project-based. Those are the ones who enjoy the freedom of the gig economy. Not only do they choose who they collaborate with, but they also choose when and where to work.

2. Food Delivery

Have you ever wondered how we went from walking into a restaurant to buy dinner to ordering McDonald’s at 3 a.m.? The gig economy was a big part of that.

What Is Food Delivery in the Gig Economy?

Food delivery services have been around for decades. However, the gig economy made it what it is today. After the pandemic, people had to minimize going outside, including ordering food in crowded restaurants. So, there was a growing demand for couriers.

The gig economy business has allowed thousands of job seekers to find solace in connecting consumers with various restaurants.

Why Is Food Delivery Considered Part of the Gig Economy?

I know what you’re thinking: “Restaurants hire these couriers on a full-time basis, so that doesn’t pass as gig working.” That’s not always the case, though. Like content writing, not all delivery drivers are full-time workers.

Sometimes, they’re independent workers at a private entity, like Uber Eats, Doordash, or Swiggy. However, they’re more independent contractors than full-time employees. They work in a task-based setting and enjoy the luxury of working whenever they want.

3. Caregiving

Do you remember that high school girl who babysat you while your parents were out? She was one of the original gig workers before the term “gig economy” was even introduced.

What Is Caregiving in the Gig Economy?

All jobs aren’t equal. Some enjoy a regular 9-5 job, while others, like doctors and police officers, have an unpredictable work schedule. If anyone working these crazy hours has children, they need quick access to babysitters.

So, the market had to meet the needs of these parents. Now, they can enter websites where they’ll find potential babysitters. Each has their ratings/reviews, and parents can choose whoever they think is suitable for the job.

Why Is Caregiving Considered Part of the Gig Economy?

A digital platform like Care.com hosts thousands of gig workers who offer their services. These contractors sign up to the website and enjoy the luxury of accepting and rejecting any gigs they get. They don’t have specific work hours, nor do they need to meet specific quotas.

4. Healthcare

That might come as a surprise for most people, as the gig economy is usually associated with writing, delivery, or editing. However, it has also infiltrated the healthcare industry.

What Is Healthcare in the Gig Economy?

If you’ve struggled to book a doctor’s appointment recently, it’s because there’s a doctor shortage in the U.S. Now, hospitals use websites like Nomad Health to contact freelance physicians and nurses.

The idea here is to compensate for their staff shortage by hiring travel doctors at a lower cost. The gig economy in healthcare is tricky, though. It requires travel doctors to learn an unfamiliar clinical process in a short time.

It also requires the leaders of healthcare institutions to ensure these travel doctors have the necessary tools to do their job well.

Why Is Healthcare Considered Part of the Gig Economy?

These physicians usually work for a specific period. It could be a few days, weeks, or months. They can also decide where and when they want to work.

5. Education

Besides healthcare and digital communication, the gig economy has changed how people approach education. How does that work, though?

What Is Education in the Gig Economy?

There’s more to online learning than professors and teachers hosting online lectures. Students resort to tutors on gig economy platforms to teach them the syllables and help with their homework.

For example, VIPKid can help students around the world connect with English-speaking teachers to help them with their speaking skills. Chegg is another website that connects students with tutors to help them do homework.

It’s not only about academia, though. Students can find online courses on various subjects, like art, marketing, copywriting, and more.

Why Is Education an Example of the Gig Economy?

The teachers on these websites enjoy a flexible schedule. Some of them sign up for a platform and offer their services there to make extra income. Others have websites approach them, asking them to hold courses on their platform.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Country Has the Biggest Gig Economy?

The United States has the largest gig economy in the world. Statistics show that over 35% of the workers in the U.S. resort to independent work to make money. That rounds up to at least 59 million Americans.

Even the adults who don’t regularly contribute to the gig economy have earned money through gig platforms at one point.

Who Benefits From the Gig Economy?

Ultimately, the gig economy is meant to please all sides. Companies that focus their business on gigs hire workers with lower costs.

Alternatively, Job seekers get to have a flexible work schedule. That leads to consumers receiving quality services at affordable prices.

However, if the workers don’t receive adequate financial compensation besides lacking social security, they’d be at a disadvantage.

Wrapping Up

Now, you have enough gig economy examples to understand how that market functions. It focuses on offering freelance work to gig workers. That way, employees have the luxury to work flexible hours, and companies can hire workers for lower wages.

Whether it’s marketing, education, healthcare, or transportation, the gig economy has changed the dynamics of the work market.

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