Gig Economy The traditional means of measuring labor statistics, which include household surveys and administrative data, were simply not built to measure independent contracting and freelance work. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The gig economy—where workers are independent contractors, moving from job to job and setting their own schedules and workloads—is often described as a growing trend. However, measurements of the size and growth of the gig economy by various organizations and government agencies deliver wildly varying numbers.

The Gallup organization estimates that 36 percent of American workers are in the gig economy. But not so fast—a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that approximately 10 percent of American workers were involved in “alternative work arrangements”—which was a one percent decline from 2005! And 2018 data from the Federal Reserve said that less than one third of adults in this country do some form of gig work—either as their primary job or to supplement other income.

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