Gig Economy

NEW STUDY: Gig Economy 2.0: Faster Payments No Longer An Option

They’re college students earning money around class schedules, laid-off professionals waiting for a recruiter to call back and mothers without time for a traditional 9-to-5 job. They’re retirees seeking extra cash (and perhaps an excuse to get out of the house). Some are hobbyists, or saving up for a family vacation. Others just need a way to make ends meet.

These are the faces of an increasingly sizable share of the workforce: gig workers.

According to the latest edition of the PYMNTS Gig Economy Index™, Hyperwallet collaboration, gigs are on the rise, with freelancing expected to shoot up nine percent in four years. And with this part of the economy ballooning, ad hoc workers are now earning 44 percent of their income by working gigs.

But, although many dig the gigs, even more would likely embrace freelancing if the cash flowed faster. While turnaround for receiving compensation is slowing down, 84 percent of surveyed respondents said they would do more gig work if they were paid faster.

Then come the fees: While only 12 percent of gig workers said they would jump ship for a full-time job, an astounding 40 percent reported losing at least 10 percent of their income to payment mechanisms. Of those, 17 percent lost between 10 and 20 percent. And while many gig workers enjoy the lifestyle’s flexible schedule, they are rarely rewarded with the benefit of health care or paid time off – an area some legislators are now looking to change.

Other key takeaways from the Gig Economy Index™, a Hyperwallet collaboration:

  • 40 percent of gig employees are “goal gig workers,” adding ad-hoc work around a full-time job to save up for an extra expense
  • 26 percent of gig employees said they receive payments through PayPal
  • 69 percent of gig employees said they would not quit their gig for a full-time job
  • 17 percent of gig employees lost 10 to 20 percent of their income to payment mechanisms

As Gig Economy Booms, Job Marketplaces Find a New Role

PYMNTS recently caught up with Jim McCoy, vice president of solutions at ManpowerGroup Solutions, to discuss the emerging trends in the gig economy and the shifting attitude toward offering benefits to gig workers.

Offering benefits in the gig economy, McCoy said, is a two-pronged challenge, which is hard for employers to solve given the short-term nature of gig work. But with the government stepping in and job marketplaces playing a bigger role, working conditions are bound to improve for this segment of the workforce.

Over the coming years, McCoy said, the gig economy is on track to see the development of new business models that better serve ad hoc workers with different experiences and skill sets.

To download the Gig Economy Index™, a Hyperwallet collaboration, please fill out the form below.

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About the Index

The Gig Economy Index™, a Hyperwallet collaboration, is designed to better understand workers in the gig economy, people who often work in short-term, ad hoc positions – who they are, what services they supply and what percentage of their overall income the gigs represent.

The Index features a survey of nearly 1,000 people who have participated in the gig economy in the past three months. Findings identify five main gig worker personas, their payment methods and their goals, motives and satisfaction with freelancing. The Index further breaks down details such as age, gender, race, income, education, time spent in the gig economy and payment mechanisms.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.