Restaurant food delivery service in phone. Take away menu in digital mobile app. Man ordering takeout pizza or burger online. Fast lunch delivered home. Person using smartphone and mockup application.

The gig economy continues to be an attractive option for U.S. workers looking to earn money on a flexible schedule. According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 16% of Americans have earned money through an online gig platform. Most of them say it was a positive experience.

The State of Gig Work in 2021 surveyed more than 10,000 adults about their experiences providing gig services such as grocery shopping/delivery, driving for a ride-hailing app, and cleaning houses. Among current or recent gig platform workers, (31%) indicated it was their main job over the past year. For those with lower incomes, the number was 42%.

The largest percentage (41%) of gig workers spend less than 10 hours per week doing such work, 29% spend 10 to 30 hours, and 8% spend more than 30 hours. The most popular reason for gig work is the desire to save up extra money (56%), closely followed by the need to cover gaps and changes in income (52%) and the desire to control their schedule (49%). The majority (58%) of gig workers say that money earned via these jobs has been important or essential to cover their basic needs throughout the past year.

Most gig workers (64%) say companies have been fair with their pay, but only half feel the same way about their benefits. And, while the large majority (94%) of U.S. adults see gig jobs as a good way to earn extra money, significantly less see them as a good way to make a living (50%) or build a career (31%).