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The Gig Economy Loses Steam

National  + Weekender  | 

From sampling 39 million freelancers over 5.5 years, JPMorgan has found that the gig economy may not be as promising as it once seemed to be.

The study concluded three main reasons for this finding:

  1. Timing Mattered: The gig economy, like Uber (which was founded in 2009), spurred following a financial recession. So, the conclusion, which is supported by government data, has found that the number of freelancers has actually dropped in the past decade. In fact, most Americans who do partake in these kinds of jobs only do so for a few months out of the year to supplement their income.
  2. Slowing Growth: The growth of freelancers is slowing, as more competition has meant lower pay. For example, Uber drivers’ average monthly income has fallen from $1,535 in October 2012 to $762 in March 2018 (not adjusted for inflation).
  3. Evolving Platforms: Online platforms are changing. They are partnering with or being purchased by big companies (like TaskRabbit and Ikea). Freelancers are profiting most from leasing companies like Airbnb, which require assets.


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