Graduate Digest
The Rise Of The Gig Economy

Employment in the gig economy is growing fast, helping to cushion the impact of a weak job market. But what are the implications?

There has been a growing number of workers, both in Singapore and globally, who are participating in the burgeoning gig economy, eschewing fulltime employment for the relative freedom and flexibility of freelancing. This type of work used to be seen as a temporary solution when one is between jobs, but many are now opting for the path a little less taken and choosing freelancing or contract work as a long-term work arrangement.

 

In the United States, a 2016 report by Harvard University economist Lawrence Katz and Princeton University economist Alan Krueger showed the number of workers engaged in alternative work arrangements – which included contract workers, freelancers and independent contractors – rose to 15.8 per cent in 2015 from 10.1 per cent in 2005, an increase of 9.4 million.

 

Meanwhile, in Singapore, a Ministry of Manpower (MOM) study showed that in 2016, there were about 167,000 career freelancers here, making up between 8 and 10 per cent of the workforce. Among these freelancers, 83 per cent indicated they had chosen this career path for themselves.

 

Find out more about the rise of the gig economy in Singapore and beyond here.

 





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