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LinkedIn Finds Small Businesses Driving Gig Economy

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Small businesses are playing a major role in the success and growth of the gig economy, according to a new LinkedIn report.

Researchers at LinkedIn found SMEs account for an estimated 40 percent of all hiring activity within the gig economy, reports this week said. Mid-market firms account for 25 percent and larger enterprises account for 25 percent.

Further, the vast majority (93 percent) of gig economy workers — contractors and freelancers — said they would likely consider working at a small business — 3 percent higher than the overall average of business professionals, according to the data.

Software and IT services account for hiring the most gig workers, followed by media and communications, health care, and education. According to LinkedIn, gig workers who are struggling to find work may want to consider going into a different field, as 70 percent of workers in this segment said that they switched industries when they changed jobs in the past year.

Public safety, retail and the arts industries saw the largest net losses in terms of how many gig economy employees they hired over the past year, the data also found.

New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles earned the top spots as best places to be a gig worker with some of the highest demand for freelancers. More than a tenth of freelance workers who have switched gigs in the last year also relocated for the new job, LinkedIn found.

The latest research from LinkedIn echoes February’s PYMNTS.com Gig Economy Index data, which found that nearly half of survey respondents said they receive at least 40 percent of their income from gig economy jobs, with 65 percent noting that they wouldn’t quit their gig work for a full-time job.

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