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LinkedIn’s Entry into the gig Economy says a lot of things. One of those things is that the gig economy is sizable enough for Linkedin to care. The gig economy is here to stay and will be mainstream in the future.

The digital revolution has transformed workplace dynamics. This paradigm shift in work is fueling the gig economy.  This is not brand new, transient work arrangements started many years ago but did not go mainstream. Yet, the latest technological advancements have removed any barriers left making gigs more accessible and ubiquitous. To make it a perfect storm, Covid has lubricated any engines that needed it to have the gig economy growing at capacity with all its roaring cylinders. The situation has changed so much that freelancing and contractual jobs are now emerging as the preferred style of work around the globe.

According to a study by Upwork in 2020, 73% of hiring managers are continuing or even increasing their usage of independent professionals.

The pandemic has extensively changed the way we live and earn, and as a result, there has been a dramatic increase in the reliance on online jobs and work-from-home arrangements. This trend has initiated a global movement, and many countries are emerging strongly in the freelancing world. According to financeonline.com, there are an estimated 1.1 billion freelancers worldwide, representing around 35% of the global workforce.

 The top 5 countries which saw an increase in freelance revenue are:

1. the United States with 78%

2. the United Kingdom with 59%

3. Brazil with 48%

4. Pakistan with 47%

5. Ukraine with 36%

The Gig Economy

Online marketplaces and collaborative technologies make it easier for workers and recruiters to search, contribute, and communicate. Online payment platforms such as Payoneer and Wise make remote work and transactions very accessible.

Fifty-nine million Americans take freelance projects annually, making up 36% of the workforce.  The gig economy continues to expand with Gen-Z and millennials joining in. According to a Payoneer report, around 54% of millennials in developed countries started their own business, and as many as 64% of millennial full-time workers make extra money as “side hustles.” Many companies are coming up with products to serve freelancers. And the Gig Economy is expected to grow from $ 208 billion in 2018 to $455 billion in 2023.

the Gig Economy is expected to grow from $ 208 billion in 2018 to $455 billion in 2023.

The LinkedIn’s Gig is Big

The world’s largest professional website LinkedIn has just recently announced a new product dedicated to services and freelancers. LinkedIn has now entered the market to compete with the likes of Upwork and freelancer.com. LinkedIn first launched as a beta version for this marketplace in March. Since the company launched its freelancing platform, 2 million service providers have joined LinkedIn already in the beta phase.

For showcasing a professional profile, Linkedin’s website has been the world’s biggest platform. It evolved then to become the most effective recruiting platform for full-time and part-time jobs. Nevertheless, platforms like freelancer.com, Fiverr, and Upwork, served one-time jobs, freelancing jobs, gigs, and side hustles. Linkedin was not the place for this type of job arrangement up until now.

LinkedIn’s Profinder is a marketplace for freelancers to buy and sell their services.

  • From March to October 2020, the search for remote jobs increased by 2.5x on LinkedIn.
  • 40 million people have used LinkedIn to search for jobs every week.
  • LinkedIn is the most trusted job-seeking platform in the US, while 76% of the users are outside the US.
  • 55 million companies are on LinkedIn.

The great diversity and authentic nature of LinkedIn have made it an effective platform for professional giggers. In its test-run pool, it has started attracting the best professionals. LinkedIn’s Profinder is now available in the US with limited services only. It will take some time before it expands to other countries and primarily emerging freelancing economies.

the Gig Economy is expected to grow from $ 208 billion in 2018 to $455 billion in 2023.

the Gig Economy is expected to grow from $ 208 billion in 2018 to $455 billion in 2023.

Thrilling Time Ahead

With Facebook changing into a metaverse to cater to more businesses to flourish, the entry of LinkedIn into the gig economy surely brings an exciting time ahead for freelancers.

Upwork’s community earned over $3.3 billion in 2021. Freenlacer.com’s revenues in 2021 reached  €502.6 million, up 54% compared to 2020. With its over 700 million active professionals, brand, and strong features, LinkedIn is poised to shake the global freelancing marketplace. Looking at this economy through gender lenses.

“Our survey shows that the mean hourly rate of female freelancers is 84% of the mean hourly rate of male freelancers across all fields. This gives hope that the freelance workforce has the potential to narrow the overall mean gender pay gap in earnings” Payoneer

It remains to be seen that Linkedin’s entry into the market would affect the pay gap between female and male freelancers knowing that the factors affecting it could be multiple and fused in a way that is hard to untangle. One fact is sure, women need freelancing more at some points in their non-linear career cycle. For that, they are important lifeblood of the gig and the remote economy.

Authored by Afsheen Khan

Edited by Yara Fakhoury

Fujn fuses learning with earning in a fun way. Fujn is made by women for women. Ladies, dare to reimagine your possibilities! Check us out at www.Fujn.us, Fusion spelled F. U. J. N

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