Gig Economy Promotes Healthcare Staffing Upgrades

by Parker Saunders

The Gig Economy has grown rapidly over the last decade. In 2005, just slightly more than 10% of all employees were engaged in the Gig Economy – that is, they were self-employed freelance, contract or other on-demand or on-call type of workers who worked when it was convenient for them, without the structure of a 9 to 5 job. But by the end of last year, the percentage of all U.S. employees working in the Gig Economy was at least 16%. That’s roughly 5% growth per year – far more than the 1% being added by traditional jobs.

Although the gig economy is often associated with the ride-share service Uber, it’s happening in every industry. Take the need for healthcare staffing in Gig Economy:

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, estimates that the demand for home healthcare workers in the gig economy will rise rapidly from now until 2024 (the end of the target forecast period). Add to that the already rapid growth for home healthcare aides across the board – a 38% increase in the decade between 2014 and 2024 — and the position looks primed to become a large player in the Gig Economy.

To understand why home health care workers are likely to participate in the Gig Economy, let’s take a look at the characteristics of the Gig Economy:

For employees, it provides flexibility of hours. This can be important for many reasons, including family responsibilities.

For employers and clients, it also means flexibility. In home health care, for example, a patient may need skilled care on a Wednesday one week and not in the next week. Or, they may require a visit on a Saturday afternoon every week but the second week of the month. Flexible scheduling is ideal.

Wherein Gig Economy jobs like Uber, contractors need to provide a car as a part of their service, home health aides need only provide their license, and they connect with people needing care via visiting.

It is likely that the growth of the home healthcare field will be successfully affected by the rise in the Gig Economy.

What other staffing industry trends do you see emerging alongside the Gig Economy?

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