Gig Entrepreneur Hype Debunked!!!!

Once again, I repeat the mantra, where have all the entrepreneurs gone?  The explanation that has been hyped for years by the media and so-called experts was there has been a hidden gig entrepreneur explosion.  A Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) definitive study recently released debunks this notion updating BLS study of 2005.

The study looked at the contingent and alternative workforce including temporary, part time, on-call, contract workers, and independent contractors.  Gig Entrepreneurs typically tend to be categorized as self-employed or independent contractors.  BLS and U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) have published contingent and alternative workforce data dating back to 1995.  Some facts of note:

  1. The number of gig entrepreneurs in 1995 was 138,000 higher than in 2017 (15,624,000 vs 15,486,000).
  2. The gig entrepreneurs as a percent of the total workforce was three percentage points higher in 1995 as compared to 2017 (13% vs 10%).
  3. Gig entrepreneurship peaked during the financial crisis and great recession at 23 million people representing 16% of the workforce. As economic recovery occurred, it appears that gig entrepreneurs were absorbed back into the traditional workforce structure.

The report also debunked the myth that millennials and younger workers prefer contingent and alternative workforce arrangements.  Notably, the over 55 years of age constitute a bigger share of independent contractors in 2017 than in 2005 (33% vs 25%).  One study commented that the older the person the more likely the person opted for an alternative workforce arrangement.


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