May be the Gig Economy Killing the 9-to-5 Job? No, But It’s Giving It a Run because of its Money

Boomers, specifically, are benefiting in retirement (or semi-retirement) as Uber drivers, knowledge workers and dog-walkers.

The gig economy has been increasing for several years, and that fact could be related to a two overriding factors: millennials seeking more freedom and seniors seeking to supplement their incomes.

Related: 10 of the best Paying Gig Economy Jobs of 2018

The gig economy’s success may also be traced to the consequences of the 2007-2008 economic recession.

Those folks who are entrepreneurs, meanwhile, automatically join this economy as soon as we leave corporate America. We quit a reliable paycheck, job security and stability and corporate perks to launch our ventures, which more often than not involve risky.

And we’re not by yourself for the reason that regard.

Who’s represented in the “gig economy”?

According to a 2016 report from Upwork and the Freelancers Union, 55 million people (or 35 percent of the full total U.S. workforce) opting for freelance gigs. In 2017, there is hook uptick in freelancing gigs, to 57.3 million (or 36 percent of the workforce).

Furthermore, more workers nowadays are receptive to exchanging security for freedom: Research by ManpowerGroup surveyed over 9,000 global workers, and 87 percent of these surveyed said they might most probably to jumping in to the gig economy because of their next position. That’s best for all of us, as the gig workforce is adding $715 billion annually to the economy through freelance work.

What does the “gig economy” constitute?

The gig economy is thought as an “environment where temporary positions are normal and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.” Within the last two decades, there has been a steady upsurge in workers joining this segment, either by chance or choice. And even though nearly a decade has elapsed because the recession, the gig economy shows no signs of slowing.

Related: 10 of the best Paying Gig Economy Jobs of 2018

Recently, various population shifts have helped take into account this: First, millennials have grown to be the biggest generation that’s fully employed, and greater than a third of these are independent workers. And, seniors, meanwhile, are joining the gig economy’s ranks in droves in an effort to supplement their incomes — and keep their retirement savings intact.

A report by Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement discovered that middle-income boomers who be prepared to eventually depend on Social Security because of their primary way to obtain retirement income rose from thirty percent in 2007 to 38 percent today.

Yet, those seniors will be smart to delay social security given that they can — as the more they delay, the more their benefits rise. And, in this regard, the gig economy is a big help (at least until age 70, when benefits stop rising).

Boomers are apparently alert to this fact, evidenced by recent data which ultimately shows that one-third of future retirees surveyed likely to have employment income, which would constitute at least 25 % of their income. A fascinating fact here’s that the gig economy has actually encouraged older women (ages 51-70), who tend to be underrepresented in entrepreneurship, to remain active during retirement, according to Hyperwallet.

So, what industries are best for seniors and retirees to enter? Listed below are four that retirees appear to be flocking to.

Airbnb and Uber

The shared economy made a splash a couple of years back with the intent of turning people’s underutilized resources just like a spare bedroom or an automobile right into a more profitable venue. While this entrepreneurial idea wasn’t exactly surprising, the populace segment most engaged here was — and is: retirees benefiting from these platforms to supplement their income.

In 2015, AARP partnered with Uber through its Life Reimagined program to create job opportunities for seniors as drivers. Uber had empty positions available, and boomers continued to retire — a win-win for both sides. Today, many retirees drive between 20 and 30 hours weekly and so are considered ideal drivers because they often own their own cars and also have fewer crashes.

In the hospitality area, Airbnb has reported that women over 60 are its most successful hosts; and seniors (hosts 60 or older) will be the fastest-growing community of providers. Actually, 64 percent of tAirbnb’s senior hosts are women. The hospitality company identified this group, typically, as “empty nesters” earning typically slightly below $6,000 a year.

Pet care

It’s no secret that pets provide companionship and so are beneficial in assisting reduce stress, lower blood circulation pressure and increase social interactions. Another methods to that end is exercise; so, with the gig economy, the chance arose to combine both.

Therefore, companies like DogVacay, which match pet owners with dog walkers, arose; & most of those registering to supply pet care were people over 50.

Dog-sitting was another need — because people travel and do not want to consign their beloved animals to a kennel or a less-than-enthusiastic relative. That’s how sites like Rover appeared, looking to connect dog sitters, dog lovers and walkers from coast to coast — and produce more income for the contractors, often boomers, registering.

Professional services

Everybody knows of someone in his / her 50s and 60s who has been let go or forced into early retirement. How to proceed now? Use those industry-honed skills, of course. And frequently which means the “knowledge” the main gig economy — a marketplace where people sell their professional or creative skills.

Platforms like Fiverr match freelancers with businesses which have specific project needs in areas like graphical design, marketing, coding or translation services. A survey by Mavenlink of U.S. executive4s discovered that 47 percent of companies want to employ contractors to fill management or senior executive roles, including many in the C-suite. The survey also revealed that two of the very most desired qualities in contractors were specialized degrees and decades of experience.


Recently, the healthcare industry has jumped in to the fray and begun hiring temp employees, or locum tenens , which includes turn into a lucrative option for most. Hospitals and medical facilities face a shortage of professionals — around 900,000 unfilled positions — and have to hire doctors, specialists and clinicians.

The medical expert demand is high because of an aging population, and the trend isn’t letting up. By 2050, the populace over 65 is likely to hit 87.6 million.

One response is travel nursing services. With 50 percent of hospitals using these professionals, the demands for them is currently at a 20-year high. 50 percent of hospitals utilize this service to take care of seasonal staffing shortages, with the common assignment lasting approximately 13 weeks.

Related: Top 5 Ways Freelancers Can Stay Competitive in the Gig Economy

Overall, the gig economy is probably not killing the 9-to-5, but it’s certainly rendering it work hard because of its money. The result could be that retirement isn’t as scary for as many folks. Indeed, more seniors are taking the plunge in to the gig economy, because being in charge of your destiny can be an attractive option once those steady paychecks come to a finish.

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