How the coronavirus pandemic might expand the gig economy

Ozimek said the country’s switch to remote work this year helped the freelance workforce, which has “always been disproportionately remote.” Freelancers also have the benefit of being able to work for several different clients, meaning they aren’t reliant on one company to stay afloat.

“While freelancing on net has increased only slightly this year, the dynamics of 2020 suggest the share of the labor force engaging in freelancing in the future may be higher,” Ozimek wrote in a blog post.

The Upwork data suggests that pandemic might usher in a new era of gig work. Joe Mullings, an executive recruiter who has worked with Google and Siemens, said the pandemic may usher in an “interim economy” where employees need skilled workers but won’t have the resources to bring them back full-time, leading to more white-collar workers entering the gig economy.