Just One Percent of Workers Do Gig Work as Main Job, Secondary Job or Additional Income

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Gig economy workers are workers who are connected to customers through an online platform or other electronic media. They include drivers transporting people or goods as well as those performing a range of tasks from dog walking to creating PowerPoint presentations. The general perception is that this is a growing share of employment in the United States.

There was much surprise, therefore, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) earlier this year reported that just 10.1 percent of workers were in alternative work arrangements as their main job in 2017 — about the same share of the workforce as in 2005. Even more surprising to many pundits, the share of independent contractors — which includes gig economy workers — declined over the 12 year period, from 7.4 percent of workers to 6.9 percent.

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