New research shows that the number of on-demand workers in the U.S. is expected to nearly double in the next four years, fueled largely by startups like Uber, TaskRabbit and Airbnb.
Recode reports that the combined research by Intuit and Emergent Research revealed that 9.2 million Americans are expected to work in the gig economy by 2021, up from 3.8 million last year.
And the gig economy has helped boost business for companies like Intuit, which makes tax software QuickBooks and TurboTax. Its stock surged to an all-time high on Wednesday in large part to the gig economy.
Right now, there are more gig workers than people employed in the entire information sector (which includes publishing, telecommunication and data processing jobs) and IT services combined. And in 2021, the number of on-demand jobs will surpass the current number of jobs in finance (8.4 million) or construction (6.8 million).
The independence that comes with being an on-demand worker is a major factor in the growth of the industry. Gig economy findings released in February 2017 found that 65 percent of current workers would not give up their gig for a full-time job.
“It’s the freedom of being independent, of being your own person,” said Hyperwallet CEO Brent Warrington. “I don’t think it’s a fad or phenomenon. As the millennial generation comes of age and continues to become the largest economic contributor in the United States, I suspect we’ll see many more individuals pursuing professional independence.”