June 23, 2017

37 Percent of Discussions on Gig Economy Negative, Study Finds


Over one-third of the conversations about the gig economy are negative. Is this a sign of uncertainty or is the gig economy bad for small businesses?

Media calls it the force that could save the American worker. But independent workers feel differently about the gig economy.



According to a new media analysis by Cision, on behalf of The Rockefeller Foundation, about 37 percent of overall discussions on gig economy is negative.

Clearly, there’s a “disconnect between news coverage of the independent workforce and the voice of independent workers on social media channels.”

Is the Gig Economy Bad for Small Businesses?

Highlights of Cision’s Media Analysis

The analysis identified four groups of independent workers: parents, retirees, recent graduates and small business owners.

Some interesting insights that emerged from the analysis are:

  • Most negatively toned discussions were on taxes, worry and insurance.
  • Retirees often go online with their questions about taxes and retirement plans.
  • Thirty-five percent of discussion from recent graduates were about looking for work, discussing additive work, or using gig labor to supplement income from a primary job.

“Workers are trying to find ways to make ends meet and they are going online to find advice from each other on how to do just that,” said Caitlin Jamali, Cision’s senior insights analyst.

Small Businesses Worried About Income

A closer look at the discussions led by small business owners reveals hourly rates and not being able to earn enough money are their top concerns.

It’s also worth noting that about 12 percent of the small business conversations are related to general worry.

Cision analyzed more than 540,000 news media and blog articles as well as 132,000 social media posts for the report.

Freelancer Photo via Shutterstock

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Shubhomita Bose


Shubhomita Bose Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.

2 Reactions

  1. Employment has an administrative cost. That comes in the form of taxes, insurance, etc. Full-time employment arrangements place that burden solely on the employer. The freelancer/contractor arrangement shifts those responsibilities to employees. It’s not inherently right or wrong, but many people are so accustomed to the full-time employment setup that they don’t adequately evaluate the cost of a gig.

  2. Aira Bongco

    The gig economy is booming. But the competition becomes fiercer and fiercer. With more people providing services, thereis a danger of losing the chance to get gigs making their income more unstable than before.

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