What is the gig economy?

  • October 31, 2020 06:08 PM AEDT
  • Team Kalkine

The gig economy refers to a market structure where there is a greater number of temporary and flexible job contracts compared to permanent employment contracts. This type of economy relies on short-term labor rather than full-time workers who have fixed employment status and are less prone to change. A gig economy sees heavy reliance on digital means to sustain itself. Most of the jobs that belong to the ‘gig’ sector depend on an online platform. In the modern age of the internet, the commonly seen gig jobs are those in Uber, Airbnb, or even courier deliveries. The availability of app-based business creation has enabled businesses that were once brick and mortar establishments to function remotely.

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Why the name “gig”?

Previously called the ‘sharing economy’ or ‘collaborative economy’, the gig economy derives its name from the meaning of the word ‘gig’ which translates to a job or event that lasts a specific amount of time. This is used mostly to be musicians or stage performers to refer to their acts. In a similar fashion, the gig economy translates to an economy mainly running on temporarily employed labor.


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