The Growing Gig Economy Around The World

Throughout history, our jobs have evolved. From the industrial revolution to the digital era of today, work has only become more internet-centric and globalized.

The result has been an ability to be flexible in our work format through the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many cases, it has also sparked economic opportunities by lowering barriers to entry to entrepreneurship.

When taking a step back and looking at self-employment rates across the world, India’s self employment rate 76%, while Niger tops the list with a rate of 95%. The U.S. and UAE come in at the low end with rates of 6.1% and 4.9%, respectively.

In relatively less developed countries, self-employment is largely attributable to subsistence farming and other activities but has grown to include work like freelancing. The digital economy has unlocked significant value, extending opportunity to those with a simple internet connection.

When thinking through the supply and demand sides of today’s largest freelance platforms, most workers are based in Asia (>70%), while India alone holds an almost 35% share of the freelancers worldwide according to the Online Labour Index from the iLabour Project. We have looked extensively into companies like Fiverr and Upwork, which are enabling digital labor across the world.

As we think of the future of labor, it’s interesting to think about how today’s largest existing freelance platforms will evolve to support their worker base and customers, and how the jobs provided on the platforms will change as the world becomes increasingly internet-based.

Twitter:  @_SeanDavid

The author or his firm may have positions in mentioned securities at the time of publication. Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of any other person or entity.

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