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Gig Economy: Which Generation Is Doing The Gig Work?

Recently a news report has been making the rounds about how baby boomers are the generation making the most as workers of the gig economy. However, the report was based entirely on one company’s workers. Therefore, I got curious and wanted to dig deeper into this.

Are Baby Boomers Doing Best in the Gig Economy?

The Mercury News was just one of many sources that shared the news recently that baby boomers are thriving in the gig economy. Based on this report, baby boomers:

The information comes from Wonolo, a company that gig workers can use to find jobs. The report revealed that workers range in age from 18 – 80+.

Why Baby Boomers May Thrive as Gig Economy Workers

If it’s true that baby boomers are the generation thriving most in the gig economy, then what’s causing that? There could be a any number of reasons.

First of all, if you’re Baby Boomer age and looking for work then perhaps you’re very motivated. Maybe you lost your job recently and find it hard to get new traditional work because of persistent ageism. Or perhaps you’re struggling as you support both your adult children and your elderly parents, so you have to take on extra gigs. Either way, you’re motivated to work a lot and earn as much as possible.

However, there could be more to it than that. Some suggestions in The Mercury News article include:

Are More Millennials Working in the Gig Economy?

The recent report indicates that Baby Boomers are doing better than other generations in the gig economy. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they make up a majority of the side hustle workforce. CBS News reports that nearly half of all working millennials have engaged in gig work for extra income. In contrast, less than 40% of Gen X and barely more than one quarter of Baby Boomers have taken gigs.

Gig Economy Differences Between the Generations

Members of Gen Z, Gen X, Millennials, and Baby Boomers are participate in the gig economy. Therefore, the question might not be who is doing the work but rather what’s the difference between their experiences. Fortune reports on twokey findings:

Deloitte Insights adds some additional information:

It’s also important to recognize that there are many different types of gig work. Some people participate mostly in the sharing economy (driving for Lyft, for example). In contrast, others take contract work in offices or do freelance jobs. The generations may vary in their job choices as well as their reasons for joining the gig economy.

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