The Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Enterprising and Informal Work Activities (EIWA) provides a detailed look at those working in the online and offline gig economy.
Like other recently released gig economy studies, the Fed's EIWA shows the gig economy is large.
Key data from the study includes:
- more than a third--36 percent--U.S. adults work full or part-time in the gig economy.
- roughly 11 percent of adults in the United States have engaged in paid services using an online gig platform
Another interesting finding is that 21% of those who report having a job also report having a 2nd full or part-time job.
As we've reported a number of times in the past, government statistics state the number of Americans with multiple jobs has been steadily declining over the past couple of decades.
The also say a bit less than 5% of Americans have multiple jobs.
So this finding backs up the other studies reporting a much higher rate of moonlighting.
We think this is a very important study.
The reason is it's one of the first studies from the U.S. government showing the gig economy is large and that having multiple jobs/sources of income is common for a large number of Americans.
This study also seems to have helped convince the Federal Reserve that the gig economy is real and government statistics are not capturing it.
Fed Governor Lael Brainard references it often in a recent speech about the future of work. Key quote:
"... there has been a sharp increase in the prevalence of contingent working arrangements over the past decade ...Official measures of the changing nature of work have not kept pace with the evolution of the economy."
The Federal Reserve, obviously, has a powerful voice in DC. Recognition by the Fed that he gig economy is real and growing will push other agencies and policy makers to also see this.