Gig Economy is Up

Automation and Artifical Intelligence (AI) are spurring an economic and cultural shift toward self employment as demand for traditional jobs are eliminated. Independent contractors and freelance workers (gig jobs) have risen beyond 53 Million workers or 34% of our labor force. Roughly 50% of Millennial workers are already a part of the gig world according to the the Wall Street Journal. Current trends project the majority of US labor will be freelance by 2027. Think of the Uber and Airbnb growth. Just 3 years ago New York had more Yellow cabs available than Uber and Lyft ride sharing vehicles combined. By last year, Uber and Lyft ride sharing provided 50% more daily rides than Yellow Cab and quintuple the cars in service.  

What a world! Ride sharing, Car sharing, Residence sharing, food deliveries and freelance taskers. Airbnb has grown from just 3,000 listings in 2009 to 2.3 Million in 2017 with bookings growing at a 40 to 50% rate. They now have far more listings than the worlds 5 largest hotels combined. Airbnb had 80 million users in 2016 and 100 Million in 2017 and appears to have locked in many more years of rapid adoption in new countries.

There are more than 2 million Uber drivers globally (about 65% are in the US), over 50,000 TaskRabbit freelance contract workers and thousands of food delivery drivers (Ubereats, Doordash, Postmates). 

Lawrence Katz of Harvard and Alan Krueger at Princeton found that “94% of net job growth (10 million jobs) in the past decade was in the alternative work category with more than 60% a result of freelancers.  Working the traditional “9 to 5” salaried job is in decline. 

These indepoendent contractors working is customized side gigs or full time are rising rapidly along with a cost shift of health needs away from traditional corporations.



Venture capital investment in startups has surged to its highest level ever — $148 billion last year

AI-themed ventures — including machine learning, advanced robotics, and autonomous vehicles — are expected to grow into a staggering $13 trillion market opportunity by 2025, says McKinsey.

“Gig Economy” is a huge boon to entrepreneurs. The rapid rise of freelancers and other on-demand workers is having a huge impact on small businesses, 42% of whom employ contract workers. It’s cheaper and more flexible for startups than having to add full-time employees, and if done right, enables them to hire talent with a more entrepreneurial bent.

Freelancers already comprise 35% of the U.S. workforce — or 55 million workers in the U.S. — and they are expected to reach 43 percent of the workforce by 2020. The new tax law offering discounted rates for pass-through business is likely to further accelerate the trend towards contingent labor.

In fact, a new report from

And remember, the rise of contingent labor itself creates new business opportunities. Freelancers, after all, have a great many unmet needs — job finding services, health insurance, tax advisories, to name a few  — that savvy entrepreneurs would be wise to address.


Intellectual property (IP) now accounts for a whopping 38.2% of total U.S. GDP — that’s over $6 trillion a year, or more than any other nation’s entire GDP except China’s — and a surprising 30% of total national employment.

Yet despite IP’s obvious significance to the U.S. economy, no major American university has offered a basic course in IP for entrepreneurial undergrads. Until now


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