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Where the Gigs Are

By Elizabeth Whalen

  • PUBLISHED January 17
  • |

In the United States and around the world, workers and companies alike are embracing the gig economy. Here’s your map to these new opportunities.

The Impact of the Gig Economy in the United States
10.7% of American households earn income from self-employment.

$4.4 billion in total self-employment income earned.

$35,395 in average per-household self-employment income 
19% increase in the number of Americans in the gig economy from 2005 to 2015.

The self-employed participate in the gig economy in various ways, including freelancing or selling their wares or skills online.


Where the Self-Employed Work in the U.S

1.     Montana: 16.1%
2.     Maine: 15.4%
3.     Vermont: 14.4%
4.     South Dakota: 14.2%
5.     Oregon: 13.4%

Cities where average household self-employment income has grown faster than median household income: Atlanta, Phoenix and Detroit


The Gigs
The occupations where the self-employed make the biggest contribution:
Construction and extraction
19.2% of all people in this occupation are self-employed

Management, business and financial operations



The Gig Workers

Men are more likely to be self-employed than women.
Men: 12.3%
Women: 7.5%
Older—not younger—workers are the most likely to be self-employed, especially those 55 and older.
25 to 34 years old: 5.7%
35 to 44: 10.1%
45 to 54: 11.8%
55 to 64: 14.7%
65 and older: 24.1%

What the Global Gig Economy Looks Like
30.4% increase globally in online postings for gig work between 2016 and 2018.
The top five countries for online gigs:
1.    United States
2.    United Kingdom
3.    Australia
4.    Canada
5.    India 

Elizabeth Whalen is a freelance writer based in Berkeley, CA. She loves writing about business, financial services and sustainability.

Illustrations by Katrin Rodegast

If you’re self-employed, are you saving for retirement? Learn about Synchrony Bank IRA CDs as a way to save. 

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