Intuit: Gig economy is 34% of US workforce

The gig economy may be bigger than you think.

Intuit, the owner of TurboTax, is seeing the size of the gig workers first hand in its earnings.

“The gig economy…is now estimated to be about 34% of the workforce and expected to be 43% by the year 2020,” Intuit (INTU) CEO Brad Smith said Wednesday on an earnings call. “We think self-employed [work] has a lot of opportunity for growth as we look ahead.”

Smith was referring to freelancers of all stripes — those on online platforms like Uber and Lyft and also more traditional freelancers like plumbers and electricians. He cited an ongoing research project between Intuit and Emergent Research.

It’s the latest sign of the sprawling size of the US freelance economy — a sector the US Labor Department has self-admittedly struggled to quantify. New government data on freelancers won’t be out until 2018.

Specifically driven by the newer online platforms, there are about 4 million quintessential gig workers, research from Intuit and Emergent show. They expect that to grow to 7.7 million workers by 2020.

Related: Millions in gig economy can’t find better work or pay

However, it’s hard to get an official government count to know how many work full time as gig workers or just part-time, or whether they have traditional 9 am to 5 pm jobs and do gig work on the side.

Proponents of the growing gig workforce like to point out that it’s a way for people to earn extra cash on the side while pursuing things that they are passionate about. They say it is a way for people to be independent.

For instance, the global consulting firm McKinsey found that there are roughly 68 million freelancers in the US. They found that gig workers who do it by choice report being happier than in the traditional 9-5 role.

Still, troubling signs are growing along with the independent workforce. Nearly 20 million gig workers do the work because they can’t find better pay or jobs elsewhere, McKinsey found.

The Freelancers Union, which represents freelancers of all stripes not just ones using online platforms, claims employers stiff the average freelancer $6,000 a year.

That trend played out this week. Uber admitted on Wednesday to overcharging drivers in New York City for a commission. On average, drivers will receive $900 from Uber, though some drivers claim they’re owed thousands more.

Read the article at CNNMoney.

Source: CNNMoney (New York)

Work From Home In 2017: The Top 100 Companies Offering Remote Jobs

Working from home is increasingly the dream of many a harried employee

But it’s hard to find legitimate work-from-home opportunities that aren’t too-good-to-be-true scams.

FlexJobs, a company that vets all types of flexible job listings including part-time, telecommuting and freelance, today releases the top 100 companies offering telecommuting opportunities in 2017.

The annual list is comprised of the companies that offered the highest number of remote job listings in the FlexJobs database in 2016, out of a total of 47,000 such companies. It includes jobs that allow for telecommuting both part and all of the time. To access these vetted opportunities, the site charges a fee.

Such opportunities seem to be increasing — the percentage of workers doing all or some of their work at home increased from 19% in 2003 to 24% in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among those in management, business, financial operations and professional jobs, the percentage was 35-38%. And 68% of U.S. workers say that they expect to work remotely in the future.

Industries that are most likely to offer remote work include the computer and information technology fields, medical and health, and government and finance. Customer service, education and training and sales also feature a number of telecommuting jobs.

“The results of this year’s list are in line with the overall growth trends we’re observing in the flexible job marketplace, with increasingly diverse companies turning to the ‘TRaD’ (or telecommuting, remote, and distributed) model of work as an integrated business practice,” said Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs.

Among the top 10 companies in this year’s list are Amazon, UnitedHealth, Teletech. See the full list below and at FlexJobs, and compare it to the top 100 companies offering work-from-home jobs in 2016, 2015 and 2014.

Read and see the list here.

Source: Forbes