The gig economy allows many individuals to earn an income on their own terms. It offers flexibility and the chance to make money on one’s schedule, attracting millions of people to platforms like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. However, it has its shortcomings. Gig workers are often vulnerable to exploitation by employers who take advantage of their non-traditional work status. These workers may be subject to unsteady work, inadequate compensation, and lack of benefits. 

This raises the question- are digital platforms depriving workers of fairness and fundamental rights? That is why we must recognize the potential risks for workers working in the gig economy and take steps to address them. But first, let’s look at some of the benefits of working in the gig economy.


The gig economy offers many people the advantage of flexible work hours and the ability to choose their projects and negotiate their pay. This level of independence is especially attractive to those who prioritize work-life balance and have other commitments such as school or children to attend to.


The variety of jobs involved can make work more engaging and stimulating while also providing exposure to different industries. Furthermore, the gig economy can be particularly beneficial for people without industry experience or credentials, providing them with valuable industry exposure and opportunities.

Higher Earnings:

Some workers can earn significantly more than their counterparts in traditional employment. For example, freelance writers have the potential to charge upwards of $150 per hour, which is substantially higher than what an employee working for a traditional employer can earn.

Now let’s look at some of the ways gig workers can be exploited:

Low Pay:

Although some gig jobs pay well, many can be inconsistent and pay little. Consequently, gig workers often find it challenging to meet their financial needs. The lack of a steady income stream makes gig workers particularly vulnerable to times of economic downfalls.

Absence of Benefits:

Many gig workers are considered independent contractors, meaning they don’t receive benefits that employees are entitled to, such as healthcare, retirement, and paid vacation. This absence of benefits can put a significant burden on workers, particularly those who have dependents to support.

No Employment Security:

Workers do not have the usual job security or protections that come with a traditional job. Jobs are usually arranged on a contract basis, so once a project is completed, there is no assurance of another one. This can make it difficult for gig workers to plan their finances and make long-term decisions.


In conclusion, the gig economy has both positive and negative aspects. On the one hand, it enables workers to have flexible working hours, take on diverse projects, earn higher wages, and gain exposure to various industries. On the other hand, gig workers face many challenges, such as low pay, lack of benefits, and job insecurity.

To achieve fairness, a balance must be struck between providing workers with the autonomy and benefits they need while ensuring that the gig economy continues fostering innovation and economic growth. By taking these issues seriously and working towards solutions, we can create a future where the gig economy benefits everyone involved and contributes to a more inclusive labor market.

Article by
Ava Collins
Content Writer and Researcher

Student award winner Ava Collins