Georgia Chamber: The Rise of Alternative Employment Opportunities

Georgia Chamber of Commerce

Monday, October 17th, 2022

Why it Matters 

The landscape of Georgia’s workforce continues to evolve as alternative employment opportunities such as gig work and job-sharing increasingly grow in popularity. According to data from the Gig Economy Data Hub, more than a quarter of workers participate in the gig economy in some fashion and  more than one in ten workers rely on gig working  for their primary source of income. The same trend exists with individuals who participate in job-sharing opportunities, with work-sharing claims hitting a record high with more than 1.7 million claims in July of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a large portion of traditional full-time employees to reconsider the flexibilities of their work schedules, which has resulted in a stark increase in these type of employment opportunities, reshaping, for some businesses, what work looks like.

The Research 

Gig-working, is generally defined as income-earning activities outside of traditional, long-term employer-employee relationships, including independent contractors, on-call workers, or temporary workers. Job-sharing represents a relationship in which two or more workers share the duties of one position, working in a part-time capacity. These types of working relationships have grown more popular as individuals lost their jobs,  decided to switch jobs, or earn additional income. A survey conducted by Pew Research in 2022 indicates that one in five, nearly 22 percent, of workers communicated that they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new employment opportunity in the next six months, with flexibility being one of the main reasons for departure. 

While the number of gig-workers decreased in 2020 , the overall number of gig-workers increased substantially in 2021 and 2022, with further projected growth in such roles over the next ten years. As outlined in a study conducted by Roleshare, by 2027, 50 percent of the workforce will be considered free-lance workers utilizing multiple employment avenues to earn income. 

Why It Matters to Your Business 

As employees’ working needs change, your business may experience churn in your workforce. By creating and innovating alternative employment opportunities, your business can improve workforce productivity, mitigate workforce reductions, increase attractiveness to new talent, and retain critical institutional knowledge.

What Georgia Can Do 

  • Explore ways to provide portable benefits opportunities for non-traditional and gig economy workers to bolster the entrepreneurial, innovative, and mobile workforce of today and in the future.  

  • Support policies that bolster the employer-employee relationship, including options related to gig working and job-sharing. 

What You Can Do

  • Consider opportunities to maximize efficiencies in your workforce, especially those in hard-to-fill positions. 

  • Encourage your legislators to support policies that enable a dynamic, nimble economy which includes alternative employment opportunities for Georgians. 

The Big Picture

As the culture of work evolves, labor force participators will consistently explore employment opportunities that include more flexibility within their respective daily schedules. Continuing to develop the infrastructure for such positions, means that Georgia will remain resilient and adaptable to current and future changes in our workforce, and be prosperous for years to come.