We Asked Gig Workers About Themselves and What They Said Will Surprise You

There are a lot of misconceptions about who exactly is a gig worker. We see a lot of stock photos of a bike messenger while they pedal along a busy street or a bunch of Millennials smiling in a car as a driver cruises to an unknown destination thanks to her rideshare app. But are those people the center of the economy? 

Who is the “average” gig worker? Do they fit into the preconceived box? Absolutely not. You’d be surprised who’s out there hustling. Perception is always a different reality than expectation and we wanted to set the record straight on what the gig economy ecosystem was really like.

We wanted to know who was using Adia, who the gig economy worker is, what they’re looking for, what they ultimately want – so, we asked. We talked to the Adia Community, plus real gig workers from all over the country. We talked about who they were and what they wanted not for just the short term, but the long run.

So, what did we learn? Well, it will probably surprise you. 

The average gig worker isn’t broke. Instead, most of the time, they’re educated with good jobs and they’re trying to make extra cash to pay for things a regular salary can’t afford like a vacation to Disney World or to remodel their house. A different shade of the stat is telling: a whopping 94% of gig workers are under the age of 50. That’s a whole lot of Gen-X and Millennials driving the model which is disruptive considering everyone previously had assumed the gig economy was nothing more than folks with six gigs pasting together a living. 


Instead, we’re seeing companies like Adia used a supplement to existing income with 47% of workers have an annual household income of greater than $75K. 

Another thing we learned is that most of the workers are men. So much so, that they make up 63% of all gig workers in the market. While yes, there are respondents from a broad range of demographics, it was interesting to learn who our dominant worker is right now. But the stuff we learned was pretty informative: 

  • 58% have a full-time job but pick up gigs 
  • 13% have a part-time job but pick up gigs
  • 21% use gigs as their primary form of work

It’s easy to put workers in a preconceived box and assume we know everything about what a gig worker wants or who they are. We need to look at gig workers through the lens of not “who are you?” but instead, “what are you looking for?”

The gig worker is explicitly looking to subsidize their income. Only 32% are single, and 66% have kids – those are both telling stats. 43% of gig workers surveyed have a graduate degree, and 64% have a college degree. This isn’t the easy-to-pigeonhole notion of the young and hungry, but instead turns the data we love to cite on its head. 

 But, wait there are even more stats:

28% have been picking up gigs for more than a year, but the majority are new to the gig scene (57% less than 6 months, while 10% less than a month). 66% work less than 20 hours per week, and 85% work less than 30 hours per week. 

 As Adia and the gig economy evolves, it would be fair to say that everyone is still learning how the market is broken down, and how it subsists against the larger job market. While a lot of people can make a living within the gig economy, it’s looking more and more plausible that the side hustle is alive and well. If someone who’s an experienced bartender wants to pick up gigs on the side when her regular gig is slow, this is the model that could help them pay the rent.

 If your business is ready to tap into the gig economy workforce, we’d love to talk.

Give us a call at 469-771-0094.

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