Do your own thing, join the gig economy

Published 3:55 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The gig economy is a labor market in which workers are hired on a contract basis, instead of holding a permanent position and are paid per completed project, or “gig.”
With most of the world locked in place under stay-at-home orders, a surge of workers turned to the gig economy for income. 12% of the current US workforce took up freelance work after March 2020, at the start of the pandemic.
More and more people are turning away from the nine to five and embracing the self-paced freedom of gig work by using their own strengths, passions, and skills to provide a valuable service.
At its current rate of growth, the GIG economy will account for more than 50% of the U.S. workforce by 2027.
There are about 68 million freelance workers in the United States. About 36% of US workers are in the gig economy today. That means one in every three people freelance either full-time or as a supplement to a traditional job
The vast majority of freelancers (81%) plan to keep working in the gig economy. Following the curve of current trends, more than 50% of the US workforce will be involved in freelance work by the year 2027.
Often fast-paced, offering high flexibility, it is no surprise that young people gravitate to freelance work. Statistics show that 70% of gig workers worldwide are under 35 years of age, and about 20% are under the age of 20.
Top growing and successful Gigs include:
Childcare – The new trend is toward personalized, small-sized childcare “hubs,” which can be a great opportunity for those who love children and have a home that can safely accommodate a few children.
Custom meal delivery service – For the passionate home cook who is skilled at developing nutritious menus, many have become adept at preparing delicious meals centered around a personal or family food allergy or sensitivity.
Housecleaning service – There is a big focus on eco-friendly service providers that use “green” and sustainable alternatives to harsh chemical cleaners. Word of mouth about those who provide superior cleaning services spreads like wildfire.
Eldercare and companionship – Caregivers and companions for older adults provide a level of non-medical care, by providing light housekeeping, help with meal prep and help keep them active, engaged, organized and entertained, both mentally and physically.
Pet-sitting service – There is little price resistance when it comes to pet owners and their furry family members. So, animal lovers who have the time, patience and necessary skills to care for other peoples’ pets are developing a thriving pet-sitting business, especially when people start to travel again.
Academic tutoring – Parents are turning to tutoring services to bridge the gap caused by the COVID pandemic in learning and understanding that exists among school-aged children and teens.
Virtual assistant – These self-employed remote support roles have become a boon to productivity and efficiency, and represent a big savings for a business’s overall operating costs. Among the more specialized VA skills are social media management, SEO, blogging and elevated, on-demand customer service.
Interior decorating service – If you have an eye for color, a strong sense of space and a flair for decorating as well as the resourcefulness for discovering the best finds, you just might have the makings of a personal decor consultant. set you on the right course.
Handyman – If you happen to know your way around a tool box, you can find yourself a neighborhood commodity, circulating among neighbors willing to pay good money to do paint touch-ups, picture-hangings, furniture assembly and any number of odd projects.

Keith Hudson is CEO of the Pamlico Business Resource Center, a non-profit organization in Washington, N.C. He can be reached at