Categories: Business

If today’s gig economy apps are any indication, the contract labor market is booming. And the tech industry has played a major role in both responding to and driving this shift. Think companies like Uber, Fiverr and Grubhub, all of which allow workers to take gigs either as their main job, or as a “side hustle”.

The rise of gig economy apps

Wondering just how entrenched gig economy apps are? The numbers speak for themselves. More than 1 in 5 Americans is currently classified as a contract worker; if you ask the US government, the figure could be about 75 million. Uber alone has some 750,000 drivers in the US; while Etsy is home to 1.93 million sellers.

So why are gig economy apps so popular?

Connecting employers with workers

Perhaps the most obvious reason is that these apps connect people who want to work with the people who need their labor. Plus they do so in a quick and seamless way – with none of the extensive interview processes or onboarding typical of traditional roles.

Take Veryable, for example. This Texas-grown company aims to bring together manufacturing, logistics and warehousing workers and employers. It helps workers find the contract jobs that are right for them, and helps employers optimize their workforce. If they quickly need more workers for a project or need workers with a specific working background, they can use the app to find them.

Flexible working hours

Need something delivered? You're participating in the gig economy.

Need something delivered? You’re participating in the gig economy.

The ability to pick your own hours is another draw for users of gig economy apps. Users are often supplementing the income from a full-time job with their app income, or are working around family or school commitments. Gig economy apps mean that instead of fitting your life around a 9-5, you can punch in and punch out whenever works for you.

Delivery app Favor (another Texas-based one!) is an exmple. Favor “runners” act as delivery people in their home city, dropping off lunch, groceries or dry cleaning. Runners can work full-time if they want – or pick up a few jobs here and there if that’s what their schedule allows. They just set their preferred hours, and work as desired.

Choose your own salary

Another reason that gig economy apps appeal to workers is that they get to choose how much they earn. Perhaps that’s working extra hours, such as with Lyft or Amazon Flex. Or it could be by charging more for your time – such as on Freelancer – or by only picking the higher-paying jobs on Taskrabbit. AirBnB hosts are another group that can charge a pretty penny for their service – especially in times of seasonal demand.

While many gig economy workers are only looking to bring in some extra pocket money, others are making a solid living from being their own boss. And all thanks to their smartphone.

Considering building an on-demand labor platform to tap into the growing gig economy? We have experience building them, so drop us a line!

Touchtap is a digital agency specializing in mobile-first development.We can build your mobile app for you.

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