Musicians often refer to performing at a place as taking on a “gig.” The gig economy works much the same way (without the need to carry a tune). Instead of a traditional, in-office, full-time job with a single company, gig workers work as short-term, temporary, or independent contractors for one or a variety of employers (though they are not employers in the traditional sense).
Though the term “gig economy” is relatively new, these nontraditional work arrangements have been around a long time. A study by the American Staffing Association found that the majority of Americans (78%) see the gig economy as a new way to describe the participation of this longstanding independent workforce.
No matter what industry a gig worker is in, the gig economy consists of small tasks that the worker completes. These tasks can be anything from getting groceries to writing code. A gig worker can opt to work for a set amount of hours (like choosing a shift) or work by the project. Once the task or shift is complete, the worker moves on to the next gig. That might be another task with the same company, or something entirely different with another company.
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