National Survey Reveals Job Seekers Are Hesitant to Join the Gig Economy

Majority of job seekers believe on-demand companies should provide their independent contractors with certain employee benefits

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – May 23, 2016Beyond, The Career Network, today announced results from a national survey of more than 5,000 job seekers, which revealed that many are hesitant to pursue the growing number of independent contractor opportunities with on-demand companies, such as driving for Uber or performing jobs through TaskRabbit. The survey found that 68% of respondents indicated that they would not work for an on-demand company or would maybe consider it depending upon their financial situation at the time. The gig economy in the U.S. has grown rapidly in recent years, creating more independent contractor opportunities for workers. However, the survey results showed that the lack of legal rights and benefits for on-demand contractors are deterrents for job seekers. 

According to the Beyond survey, an overwhelming consensus of job seekers (79%) believe on-demand companies should consider their workers eligible for entitled legal rights and benefits under certain conditions, with 47% of respondents saying they deserve official employee status no matter what, and 32% saying they should be considered official employees if working more than 40 hours per week. While job seekers think that the gig economy will endure, many respondents (66%) believe that people are scared to leave the traditional workforce to become independent contractors at on-demand companies due to lack of legal perks, benefits and financial security.

And this sentiment remained consistent when asked what they found to be “least appealing” about working for an on-demand company, job seekers said: no job security/guaranteed income (53%), no health benefits (28%) and that working jobs could be dangerous (12%). As the debate around workers’ rights in the gig economy continues, the survey revealed that workers, for the most part, remain resistant to embrace the gig economy in the absence of traditional job perks.

“While on-demand companies create unique opportunities, our survey clearly shows that the majority of job seekers would prefer to focus on a full-time job with benefits over a short-term job in the gig economy,” said Rich Milgram, CEO of Beyond. “We all love the flexibility that the gig economy offers but in reality we need the stability of a full-time position. Finding the right mix of the two is what we strive for in life.”

Respondents did highlight some positives to working as an independent contractor for an on-demand company. Job seekers said flexible work hours (52%), the ability to be their own boss (25%) and the exciting business model/earning potential (10%) were “most appealing” about these types of jobs.

Additional findings from the survey show:

  • Gigs are still resume-worthy. When asked if job seekers would include an on-demand job on a resume, 52% said they would if the job enhanced their experience regardless of relevance to their field, and 38% said they would only if the job was relevant to their field.
     
  • Younger workers are leading the charge. Segmented by generation, Millennials were most receptive to working as an independent contractor to make money while they searched for a new job (50%), compared to 40% of Gen Xers and 38% of Baby Boomers.
     
  • Millennials challenge the ‘lazy’ stereotype to earn extra income. Segmented by generation, Millennials were most receptive to earning money as an independent contractor in addition to their normal paycheck (32%), compared to 26% of Gen Xers and 24% of Baby Boomers.
     
  • Safety is more of a concern for women. Each gender thought the number one drawback would be the lack of job security/guaranteed income, however, of those who thought jobs would be too dangerous, 15% were women compared to 8% of men.

For more information on the survey or Beyond, please visit: www.beyond.com. To offer your own opinion, join the conversation on Facebook.

About Beyond
Beyond, The Career Network, helps millions of professionals find jobs and advance their careers, while also serving as the premier destination for companies in need of top talent. Founded in 1998, Beyond gives its members a central location to search for millions of jobs and engage with original and curated career content from over 1,400 sources. Beyond’s network of 500+ talent communities use integrated social features to help members discover relevant career news, advice and resources. Beyond was included in Inc. Magazine’s ‘Inc. 500’ list and is a Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) portfolio company. For more information, please visit: www.Beyond.com.

 

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