Since the Great Recession, gig jobs have been heralded as the economy of the future – but after more than a decade, are U.S. workers still banking on gig jobs? The gig job began mainly due to the Great Recession of 2008. 7.2% unemployment after the Great Recession spurred the demand for temporary and quick-starting jobs. In the decade since, the gig economy has expanded at an exponential rate; as of 2017 Airbnb had 150 million users and Uber had 42 million users. But even though business seems to be booming, gig workers are really struggling – 60% of all gig workers could not come up with $400 for an emergency bill.
With gig jobs come serious financial detriments such as impermanence, income unpredictability, and lack of benefits. Many gig workers do not earn a living wage, according to the median monthly income and from 2014 to 2018, pay for even the most active participants from Uber and Lyft dropped significantly. Their pay was nearly cut in half over the course of 4 years.