Lots of recent studies on the gig economy. So many that one article says you can't swing a cat these days without hitting one.
We're dog fans here at Small Business Labs, but we still wouldn't swing a cat. But if we did, we'd likely hit one of these recent gig economy studies:
McKinsey's Independent Work: Choice, Necessity and the Gig Economy- They found that there are 54-68 million gig workers in the US and roughly another 100 million in Europe. They also found that most gig workers chose to be gig workers.
Brooking's Tracking the Gig Economy: New Numbers- This study uses non-employer firm data to show that the gig economy is growing. In particular they focus on the growth of Uber and Airbnb in the major U.S. metropolitan areas.
Brookings describes non-employer firm data as "obscure", which is a fair description.
We started working with the non-employer data set in 2005 and this led us to our initial point of view that self-employment and what is now called the gig economy (we called this type of work "personal businesses" back then) was bigger and growing much more rapidly than the official government statistics were showing.
Back then this finding was met with a lot skepticism. And there still is a lot of skepticism on this topic in Washington and the academic community.
But as the studies and evidence continues to pile up, it's becoming accepted that the gig economy is real, large and growing.