Understanding The Gig Economy

Gig Economy

Understanding The Gig Economy

Hearing the term Gig Economy recently caught my attention. I hadn’t given much thought to it but it is a big part of what we do as consultants in the employment agency industry. Where did this word gig originate? Musicians refer to their paid performances as gigs and really cool people refer to their temporary jobs as gigs. Put another way, the term “gigging” means having paid work or being employed.

Today a gig could be a temporary job in terms of length of employment. In the employment industry, we often refer to these assignments as either temporary or contract as it is usually for a defined period of time. Gigs can be full-time work hours and other times they are part-time hours.

Well, with our robust economy sitting at 4.0% unemployment it appears that all is well as it pertains to finding work? Many economists believe these numbers to be misleading. The feeling of prosperity is not being felt by many and this leads to the need to take on an extra job [or two] by millions of Americans just to make ends meet. We know by looking at the data that people tend to change jobs several times throughout their working lives and the gig economy can be seen as an evolution of that trend.

In the employment industry, we know that 1 in 5 workers in the workforce is contingent or flexible hourly labor. Many professionals are choosing contract employment because of the flexible work hours, work-life balance or a way to stay engaged in the workforce while keeping their technical and people skills sharp.

While employment numbers count W-2 statements these employees could be working part-time or working this assignment until a better opportunity comes along. There are approximately 6 million people [4% of labor force] that make up the U.S. contingent workforce as these numbers have not been tracked in past years.

Capturing the gig economy is important when working to understand the employment numbers. Many employers are choosing a contingent labor force as they look for ways to remain competitive while controlling employment costs and expenses. When marketing or seasonal fluctuations impact sales companies know that a contingent workforce allows them to remain flexible and profitable.

“The gig economy is not new-people have always worked gigs..but today when most people refer to the “gig economy” they’re specifically talking about new technology-enabled kinds of work” I.e Uber, Pinot’s Palette, Airbnb, etc

Companies should know that the growth of the gig economy is a global trend and this trend does not show signs of slowing. People are looking for ways to find balance in their lives while providing for their families. Sometimes that requires a second job. As we look at these gig workers companies should know that these numbers are expected to increase from 4 million to over 9 million in 2021.

Smart companies know that a flexible workforce makes good business sense.


The State of the Global Economy: An Overview


The global economy is a complex web of interconnected systems, constantly evolving and influenced by a wide range of factors. In this article, we will provide an overview of the current state of the global economy, highlighting key trends, challenges, and potential opportunities. Please note that economic conditions can change rapidly, so the information provided here reflects the knowledge available up until September 2021.

  1. Global Economic Growth: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy was experiencing moderate growth, with many countries enjoying stable expansion. However, the pandemic caused an unprecedented economic shock, leading to a global recession in 2020. Governments and central banks around the world implemented significant stimulus measures to mitigate the impact of the crisis.

Since then, the global economy has shown signs of recovery. Many countries have gradually eased restrictions, enabling businesses to resume operations. However, the pace and trajectory of the recovery have varied across regions. Some advanced economies, such as the United States and China, have demonstrated strong rebound potential, while others, particularly developing countries, continue to face challenges due to limited access to vaccines and ongoing restrictions.

  1. Inflation and Central Bank Policies: In recent months, concerns about inflation have emerged as economies reopen and demand increases. Rising energy and commodity prices, supply chain disruptions, and labor market imbalances have contributed to inflationary pressures in various countries. Central banks are closely monitoring these developments and adjusting their policies accordingly.

To curb inflation, central banks may raise interest rates, reduce asset purchases, or employ other measures to tighten monetary policy. However, these decisions are complex, as central banks must strike a balance between addressing inflationary risks and supporting economic recovery. The actions taken by major central banks, such as the US Federal Reserve, have significant implications for global financial markets.

  1. Trade and Global Supply Chains: The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in global supply chains, with disruptions in manufacturing and logistics affecting numerous industries. As countries strive to recover and build resilience, there is a growing focus on reevaluating supply chain strategies and reducing dependence on a single source or region. This shift towards diversification could lead to opportunities for new trade partnerships and regional economic integration.

Moreover, geopolitical tensions and trade disputes between major economies have impacted global trade flows. Escalating tariffs and trade barriers can hinder economic growth and increase uncertainty for businesses. However, efforts to de-escalate conflicts and negotiate trade agreements continue, aiming to promote stability and facilitate international trade.

  1. Digital Transformation and Technological Advancements: The pandemic accelerated digital transformation across sectors, as businesses and consumers increasingly relied on technology to adapt to new ways of working, shopping, and connecting. Remote work, e-commerce, telemedicine, and online education experienced significant growth.

Technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence, automation, blockchain, and renewable energy, continue to shape the global economy. These innovations offer opportunities for increased productivity, efficiency, and sustainable development. However, they also raise questions about job displacement, privacy, and the ethical implications of emerging technologies.

  1. Sustainable Development and Climate Change: The need to address climate change and achieve sustainable development has gained prominence on the global agenda. Governments, businesses, and investors are recognizing the economic risks and opportunities associated with climate change mitigation and adaptation. Efforts are underway to transition to a low-carbon economy, promote renewable energy, and adopt sustainable practices.

Investments in renewable energy, green infrastructure, and sustainable technologies are expected to create new jobs and drive economic growth. However, the transition also poses challenges, particularly for industries heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability remains a key priority for policymakers worldwide.


The global economy is in a state of recovery following the significant disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While progress is being made, challenges such as inflationary pressures, supply chain vulnerabilities, geopolitical tensions, and climate change require careful management. The path to a robust and sustainable economic future lies in international cooperation, innovative solutions, and inclusive policies that address both immediate needs and long-term goals.

Author: Mohammed A Bazzoun

If you have any more specific questions, feel free to ask in comments.


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