Daily Management Review

UK Gig Economy Size Doubles In Three Years


UK Gig Economy Size Doubles In Three Years
Over the past three years, the size of the gig economy of the United Kingdom has more than doubled and currently there are 4.7 people working in the economy, showed a report which also highlighted the criticality of such employment.  
A study from the TUC and academics at the University of Hertfordshire found that as many as one in 10 working-age adults now work on gig economy platforms which is a clear sign of a very fast shift in the nature of the modern jobs market. In comparison, the figure in 2016 was one in 20 only.
The report also issued a warning that the fast pace of the replacement in of the traditional nine-to-five working week for growing numbers of people has not kept pace with workers’ rights which clearly shows a virtual revolution has taken place in the world of work because of the booming in digital platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo.
The risk of battling to make ends meet is a risk for the working people as has been shown in the explosion of the gig economy, said Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress. “The world of work is changing fast and working people don’t have the protection they need. Huge numbers are being forced to take on casual and insecure platform work – often on top of other jobs. But as we’ve seen with Uber too often these workers are denied their rights and are treated like disposable labour,” he said.
This latest research on UK’s gig economy was based on a survey of 2,235 UK residents, aged 16 to 75, and was a part of a larger study that is being conducted in 13 European countries including Italy, Spain and Sweden. The field work and data collection for the study was done by c from Ipsos Mori while the analysis was done by the University of Hertfordshire.
The report revealed that there was a more than doubling in the number of working-age adults who had worked for an online platform at least once a week to 9.6%, (4.7 million) compared to 4.7% (2.3 million workers) three years back. And even larger numbers of people had worked using a digital platform at some point in their lives because of the proliferation of the high-tech startups and Silicon valley firms. The survey found that experience of having worked via a gig economy platform at some point existed with up to one in seven working-age adults – which is about 7.5 million people in the UK.
Since the 2008 global financial crisis, employment rates in the UK had touched record highs at 32.75 million on the overall. But according to some analysts, the job market has become a dicey one for some people which has pressurized their living standards. While there has been an increase in the use of food banks, there has also been a rise in poverty while in work.
“The fear of unemployment has picked up in the UK. People got scared senseless by what happened in the great recession. Real wages have been held down and [people are] concerned that their jobs will be replaced,” said David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England’s rate-setting monetary policy committee.
“While the Tory leadership hopefuls slug it out over tax cuts for the wealthy this is the reality of insecure and casualised work for so many in the country,” said John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor.