The UK's Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) released To gig or not to gig? Stories from the modern economy, which is study based on a survey of UK gig workers.
The quick summary is UK's gig workers have a lot in common with those from the U.S. Most are part-time and working in the gig economy to supplement their income. Almost half (47%) are satisfied or highly satisfied with gig work, few (17%) are dissatisfied.
The study found about 1.3 million UK residents work in the gig economy. This is about 4% of UK adults.
The study's findings are pretty similar to what was found for U.S. gig workers in the recent Intuit On-Demand Economy study. Gig worker satisfaction is a bit lower in the UK than the U.S., but overall UK gig workers are more satisfied than not (see chart below).
The CIPD study defined gig workers as people "who trade their time and skills through online platforms (websites or apps), providing a service to a third party as a form of paid employment." This definition is pretty close to the one used in the Intuit study.
The study chart below (click to enlarge) shows UK gig worker satisfaction levels for various attributes of gig work. The last two columns show net satisfied versus net dissatisfied.
Again, these are pretty consistent with the U.S. results.
The key quote from the study report is:
Another point that should not be overlooked is that, for many people, working in the gig economy is a positive choice rather than a last-resort option in lieu of not being able to find more traditional employment. The most common reason cited by survey respondents for working in the gig economy is that it allows them to boost their income, with a third saying this is the case, with a quarter (25%) of gig economy workers reporting that their gig economy work enables them to achieve an end goal such as buying a car or going on holiday. Just 14% of respondents say they are only working in the gig economy because they can’t find a traditional job with an employer.
One warning on this study is the overall respondent pool for gig workers is fairly small (413). Also, they present a lot of data based on very small samples (often less than 100). These have large margins of error (over +-10% for under 100).
This doesn't make the study wrong or bad. Many excellent studies, including some of ours, have small sample sizes. However, when working with small sample sizes it's important to keep the error margin in mind before drawing strong conclusions from the results.