StashLearn
Get the app
Get the app

Join millions of investors on Stash

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5
Get the app
Stash

Stash Surveyed Gig Economy Workers: Here’s What We Found

October 14, 2019
delivery man on bicycle

3 min read

Gig workers may lack access to traditional employee benefits and find themselves frequently in precarious financial situations, requiring them to tap savings and forgo retirement planning, but they also don’t hold it against their employers.

These are just some of the key findings from Stash’s October Gig Economy survey, which polled 1,240 customers who identified themselves as working in the gig economy.1

While 90% of those surveyed said they lack access to traditional employer benefits such as health care, access to retirement accounts, and paid time off, only 12% said they were dissatisfied with their employers.

lack benefits
0
unhappy w/ employers
0

A resounding 57% of respondents said they were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their employers. About one third were neutral.

Despite positive employer sentiment, the survey found that lack of access to employee benefits may leave gig workers uniquely vulnerable to financial instability. Since becoming gig workers, more than half report having to borrow or sell off assets to pay for emergency expenses. Similarly, 28% have had to tap into savings “too many times to count” to pay for such emergencies. Meanwhile, more than a quarter say they are not actively building an emergency fund, and nearly half say they are not actively saving for retirement.

0%
tap into savings "too many times to count"
0%
not building an emergency fund
0%
not saving for retirement

Who are gig workers?

Gig workers are typically classified as contract workers who perform specific tasks for short periods of time, and they have usually lacked the protections and agreements that full time and salaried workers have with their employers. Many gig workers staff the new economy of app-based, on-demand service businesses, including Lyft and Uber, Postmates, Grubhub, TaskRabbit, and Instacart, while others freelance or work as contractors across different business sectors.

By the numbers, more than a third of respondents work in the transportation and delivery industry, which can include driving for companies such as Uber and Lyft. Six percent work in retail, while 4% work in technology, and 2% work in construction, among other categories.

0%
transportation & delivery
0%
retail
0%
construction

Roughly 48% identified as male, and 51% female. The remainder identified as other.

male
0
female
0

Nearly half of those surveyed earn less than $50,000 annually.

A national debate about worker rights

The findings come as national protests of Uber and Lyft heat up, with drivers reportedly organizing into a labor movement, advocating for better working conditions, increased pay, and access to employee benefits. Concerns that a new California law aims to directly address.

The law, called Assembly Bill 5, says contract workers—including janitors, many construction workers, beauticians, and drivers—must now pass something called the ABC test, in which employers must prove their employees are not central to the way they do business. Companies must also prove that their contractors are independently established in a trade or occupation that’s the same as the work they do for the company that hires them for contract work.

Workers classified as contractors are typically not covered by a wide swath of employee laws, including minimum wage, unemployment, and disability insurance, sick leave and discrimination protections, according to sources. Assembly Bill 5 aims to change this.

The law is slated to go into effect on January 1, 2020, although Uber, Lyft, and other companies are exploring ways to fight the new law.

How to start saving for your future today

Whether you work in the gig economy or not, there are steps you can take today to help reach your goals and find financial freedom. If it’s an emergency fund you’re after, start by putting small amounts of money away each month—maybe $20 or $50, more if you can. If you can automate your savings, even better.

Once you’ve built up your emergency fund, you may be in a position to pursue other goals, like saving for retirement, your child’s education, a house, and more.

And most importantly, you’ll know that if things go wrong, you’re covered.

Welcome to your new financial home.

Start today with as little as $5.

Get the App

Make saving and investing a habit.

Go automatic with Auto-Stash.

Start now

Make saving and investing a habit.

Go automatic with Auto-Stash.

Start now

By Stash Team

1 This survey was conducted online within the United States by Stash using SurveyMonkey technology in October 2019. The survey was completed by 1,240 people. Of the 1,240 individuals: 47.49% (406) identified themselves as males, 51.46% (440) identified themselves as females, and 1.05% (9) identified themselves as “other.” This material has been distributed for informational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, or tax advice.

Investment Profile

Bonds Worldwide

An International Bond ETF on Stash

Learn more
Explore more articlesChoose a topic to learn more about
market news Careers Retirement budgeting pop culture
Disclaimers

This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date of publication, is subject to change without notice, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion. Stash assumes no obligation to provide notifications of changes in any factors that could affect the information provided. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any issuer or security in particular. The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.

Furthermore, the information presented does not take into consideration commissions, tax implications, or other transactional costs, which may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy or investment decision. This information is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class or strategy or as a promise of future performance. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions or is suitable for all investors. Each investor should evaluate their ability to invest long term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Investors should not substitute these materials for professional services, and should seek advice from an independent advisor before acting on any information presented. Before investing, please carefully consider your willingness to take on risk and your financial ability to afford investment losses when deciding how much individual security exposure to have in your investment portfolio.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is a potential for loss as well as gain in investing. Stash does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome. While the data and analysis Stash uses from third party sources is believed to be reliable, Stash does not guarantee the accuracy of such information. Nothing in this article should be considered as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any particular security or investment product or to engage in any investment strategy. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Stash does not provide personalized financial planning to investors, such as estate, tax, or retirement planning. Investment advisory services are only provided to investors who become Stash Clients pursuant to a written Advisory Agreement. For more information please visit www.stashinvest.com/disclosures.