Holding up the Gig

Jan 27, 2020


The team at Atlas Certified is quietly becoming the support structure for the on-demand / Gig economy. The largest service companies and their customers, providing everything from contractors to child daycare to Nurses/CNAs to physicians, rely on Atlas’ automated verification, monitoring and status alerts solution to ensure represented licenses are active and up to date to ensure customer safety and mitigate unnecessary risks (brand, legal, etc.).

With the rise of Uber, HomeAdvisor, Care.com, Amazon Home, LivHome, Slingshot Health, Freelancer.com, Ebay, and others, more and more workers are doing part-time work, side hustles, as they are often called, and are joining the “Gig Economy” as it is more formally known. Essentially, for many, it is when you are between full-time jobs or cannot find a new job after a layoff, or just need more flexibility than a traditional job can provide. So, you go freelance and string together jobs on a short-term, contract basis.

According to a Gallop poll, “More than one third (36 percent) of U.S. workers are in the gig economy, which works out to a very large number of approximately 57 million people.”

They estimate “that 29% of all workers in the U.S. have an alternative work arrangement as their primary job. This includes a quarter of all full-time workers (24%) and half of all part-time workers (49%). Including multiple job holders, 36% have a gig work arrangement in some capacity.”

There are two types of gig workers. There are “independent” and “contingent” workers, the former being people who are truly their own “boss”, and the latter being the group that work for another company just like a regular employee might, minus the security and all the other benefits that come with being a full-fledged employee.

The drivers of the continued expansion of the Gig / On-demand Economy include:

  • Consumers demand service / goods at a continually faster rate.
  • Technology and infrastructure are growing to accommodate freelancers. Technology continues to lower the barriers to entry, which affects how individuals earn money in the labor market.
  • Independent workers are in control of their work and business, they feel more secure than being at the mercy of a employer and a boss. In fact, 43% list having a flexible schedule as the most important reason to work independently.
  • Independent workers believe having multiple clients and/or streams of income is more secure than relying on a single source of income.
  • Employers are increasingly using gig workers to lower costs and meet project needs. Due to layoffs, company failures, changes in corporate directions and a broader lack of corporate loyalty to their employees (costs associated with full time employees), traditional jobs are not as secure.

For both businesses and workers, there are many reasons to find the gig economy appealing. Workers enjoy the flexibility and freedom of choice. Businesses enjoy picking from a larger talent pool.

Still, these benefits must be balanced with the risks (company brand / liability) and most importantly, customer safety, and the acknowledgement that the gig economy needs oversight and new technologies, like Atlas Certified, to help safely support the continued expansion of the Gig (economy).

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