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How the On-Demand Economy Changes the Way We View Employment

Last update on Oct. 13, 2016.

How the On-Demand Economy Changes the Way We View Employment

The 40-hour workweek is alive and well, but in 2016, it looks completely different than it did a generation ago and the Government is finally getting around to supplying data that accounts for this new work eco-system.

The “on-demand economy”, where everyone from independent contractors to temporary employees are holding multiple short-term jobs at the same time, is changing the way we look at traditional employment and revolutionizing worker engagement on a global level.

This type of “shared economy” has mostly been driven by technology where workers provide services though a mesh of technological applications.  Workers choose these types of engagements for many reasons from supplemental income, to control over day-to-day scheduling or even temporary income because of the inability to find other employment.

The typical worker in the on-demand economy relies on three different income streams to make their ends meet.  Roughly 34 percent of their income comes from this shared economy, while other sources include traditional employment (30%), contracting and consulting (19%) or running a business (14%).  In all, they allow a unique type of worker to emerge in the new global economy.

Up until now, this type of worker has not been accurately represented in the data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   Much of that information has not been included in analyses of on-demand workers themselves and has been largely ignored by those working multiple jobs.  This type of engagement creates a new view of the various employment classifications - as full-time and part-time work doesn’t capture the nature and motivation behind on-demand employment in the global marketplace.

New data compiled by the financial technology firm Intuit shows that the significant majority (91%) of people in this economy do so because it lets them decide where, when and how they choose to work.  This shift is important because many of these workers are also running a business or are building a plan to start one.

The data also shows that these workers are extremely satisfied with the work that they are doing and plan on continuing to do so over the next year.  This entrepreneurial spirit, exhibited in the on-demand ecosystem, is allowing workers to take charge of their careers and provide for their families in many new and unique ways.

This piece was written from content featured in the following article:  The On-demand Workforce by Alex Chriss

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