Is gig work viable as permanent employment? 

By the end of 2024, it is estimated that there will be 76.4 million gig workers in the United States. In 2023, the gig economy generated a gross revenue of around 455 billion dollars. In September of 2018, it was reported that approximately 80% of gig workers were satisfied with their jobs. That same study reported that only 22% of gig workers preferred traditional employment over the self-guiding lifestyle of a gig worker. 

Thus, the question remains. Is gig work viable as permanent employment?

Ultimately, it depends on the person. Here are some factors that impact the sustainability of gig work:


Gig work offers flexibility in terms of hours, locations, and projects, which can be appealing to some individuals. However, it lacks the stability and benefits typically associated with traditional permanent employment, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. 

Income Variability:

Gig workers often face income variability due to fluctuations in demand, project availability, and payment terms. Furthermore, gig platforms, often controlled by the algorithm, dictate the distribution of tasks. This uncertainty can make it challenging to budget and plan for the future, especially without a steady stream of income. 

Line of Work:

In the US, the most prominent gig work categories include:

  • Ride-Hailing and Delivery Services
  • Freelance Writing and Editing
  • Graphic Design and Creative Services
  • Online Tutoring and Education Services
  • Virtual Assistance
  • IT and Tech Support
  • E-commerce and Retail
  • Event Planning and Coordination
  • Health and Wellness Services

Ultimately, a person’s compatibility with their industry of employment will also impact the sustainability of gig work. While it is significant to consider such general aspects, greater insight can be revealed through the lifestyle of an individual gig worker. For instance, cities with robust gig economies and high demand for freelance services may offer more opportunities for thriving gig workers. If an individual lives in a small city with a population of 1000, gig workers on platforms like Uber and DoorDash will have to compete for an already small consumer base. 

Furthermore, gig workers who are not willing to work remotely may become limited within the scope of available gigs, as remote work can enable gig workers to access a wider range of clients and projects. 


Article by
Zoe Maung
Content Writer and Researcher

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