The gig economy may not be nearly as large as the all hype it receives would suggest — that’s according to a report the Bureau of Labor Statistics published on Friday which estimated that 1.6 million people, or about 1% of the U.S. workforce, use apps and sites to find work.
Of the 1.6 million people who use apps and sites to find work, the report found that 5.6% were full-time independent contractors, which are typically thought of as workers who use online platforms like Lyft, Uber and Airbnb. “You’d expect the share of independent contractors who use apps and sites to find work to be a lot higher,” said Ben Gitis, director of labor policy at the American Action Forum, an advocacy group.
“So, if online platforms work were reshaping the workforce, you’d see it prominently among independent contractors and you’d expect the number of independent contractors to grow, but, the data indicate the exact opposite,” he said. “And the portion of workers who are independent contractors has declined over the last decade, indicating that the gig economy is not substantially altering the workforce.”