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Is the gig economy all that? Competition is growing for the same number of jobs

5 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Facts, Trends

As of today, there are 2.02 million registered users on gig-economy megasite Upwork( $NASDAQ:UPWK). Those 2.02 millions users are competing for 76,670 posted jobs, a clear sign that despite the comforts that a gig economy brings, competition is fierce.

And that problem appears to be exacerbating; over time, the number of registered users on the site has grown at a steady clip, but the number of available jobs has remained strikingly constant.

While the number of Upwork registered users — or workers for the purposes of this study — grew from 1.72 million to 2.02 million since October, 2018, the number of available jobs only grew from 69,000 to 76,000.

The most common gig-seeker identifies as "Web Mobile Software Dev" followed by "Design Creative". The least common, but with the best per-job ratio is for those who provide legal services.

Category

Count

Metric

Category

Count

Worker to Job Ratio

Workers Per Job

All

2,022,015

Number of Jobs Listed

All

76,666

8/211

26.37

Category: C Web Mobile Software Dev

500,085

Number of Jobs Listed

Web Mobile Software Dev

20,351

7/172

24.57

Category: C Design Creative

489,664

Number of Jobs Listed

Design Creative

15,925

4/123

30.75

Category: C Writing

418,357

Number of Jobs Listed

Writing

8,467

17/840

49.41

Category: C Admin Support

372,312

Number of Jobs Listed

Admin Support

4,527

4/329

82.24

Category: C Translation

235,346

Number of Jobs Listed

Translation

2,289

5/514

102.82

Category: C Sales Marketing

198,634

Number of Jobs Listed

Sales Marketing

14,024

61/864

14.16

Category: C Customer Service

163,083

Number of Jobs Listed

Customer Service

1,221

7/935

133.57

Category: C Accounting Consulting

126,246

Number of Jobs Listed

Accounting Consulting

1,974

15/959

63.95

Category: C It Networking

117,705

Number of Jobs Listed

It Networking

2,293

3/154

51.33

Category: C Engineering Architecture

96,880

Number of Jobs Listed

Engineering Architecture

2,671

11/399

36.27

Category: C Data Science Analytics

80,828

Number of Jobs Listed

Data Science Analytics

2,031

5/199

39.80

Category: C Legal

12,108

Number of Jobs Listed

Legal

893

34/461

13.56

Not only is competition for a limited number of gigs growing, but the amount workers are pulling for their hours skews heavily toward the lower range of all per-job fees. Of all jobs posted on the site as of this week, 31% at the lowest rate level, or $0-10. 46% fall between just $10-30 per job.

Rate Per Hour ($)

# of Freelancers

% of Users

 0-10

632,205

31.266%

10-30

922,814

45.638%

30-60

301,716

14.922%

60+

165,280

8.174%

TOTAL

2,022,015

There's no question that the gig economy is working for some people who have built up a large following and rate structures that work for them. But the data shows, at least as of now, that competition is fierce and pay is low.

Join the businesses who have begun to edge out competitors by scouring the web for alternative data.

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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