Press Release


US Gig Economy Grows to USD $864 Billion

Fast-Growing Human Cloud Segment Reaches $82 Billion Globally

Mountain View, California — October 2, 2018 — Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), the global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions, has released new findings and data from key research on the gig economy, including market estimates and features of the US contingent workforce, and a detailed summary of its in-depth coverage of the human cloud. The human cloud is the fastest-growing segment of the global gig economy.

The US Gig Economy – 2018 Edition report updates and extends SIA’s ground-breaking earlier research into the size of the gig economy and first-ever estimates of gig economy spend. The gig economy includes any form of contingent work and is comprised of independent contractors, temporary agency workers, directly sourced temporary workers, statement-of-work consultants and human cloud workers. According to the latest findings, an estimated 48 million people took on gig work in the US in 2017, with 31% of all US workers performing gig/contingent work last year. Total spending on gig work in the US was $864 billion, while total global gig economy spending hit an estimated $3.7 trillion.

“The gig economy continues to grow globally, impacting and advancing how work is being facilitated across industries, professions, skillsets and geographies,” said Barry Asin, President of SIA. “As the US gig economy also continues to grow, platform development and increased awareness and adoption from stakeholders, especially in the human cloud segment of the gig economy, is driving innovation and access to talent. Key players in the workforce solutions ecosystem are exploring exciting new ways to meet the demands of the gig economy and the global talent marketplace.”

The Human Cloud, the Gig Economy & the Transformation of Work | 2018 Update summarizes the data and information presented in The Gig Economy and Human Cloud Landscape: 2018 Update report, an annual report available for SIA members. SIA estimates that total human cloud spending reached $82 billion globally in 2017. The business-to-business (B2B) segment of the human cloud grew approximately 19% year-over-year, with a record number of firms generating more than $100 million in revenue 2017.

The Human Cloud, the Gig Economy & the Transformation of Work includes a ranking of human cloud companies by revenue for companies with revenue of at least $25 million in 2017.  All of the companies listed in the top five of the largest B2B human cloud companies are headquartered in the USA, with Australia, France and Israel also represented among the top ten B2B companies.

The five largest B2B human cloud companies:

Company 2017 Revenue ($ millions) Headquarters Country
Upwork 1,360 USA
MBO Partners 525 USA
Gerson Lehrman Group 320 USA
Axiom 250 USA
WorkMarket 200 USA

“Technology is transforming how millions of people – from dishwashers to drivers to nurses to designers to rocket scientists – find and connect to work, which is changing how companies recruit and providing economic opportunity for people around the world in the process,” said David Francis, Research Manager at SIA. “The rise of these online work platforms demonstrates that there is a substantial workforce of talented and motivated individuals ready and waiting to work, if only companies will make it easy enough to do so.”

SIA features firms from across the global gig economy and the human cloud at the 3rd annual Collaboration in the Gig Economy conference taking place in Dallas this week. Leading experts share their perspectives on the gig economy and the human cloud in special keynote presentations such as Collaboration in the Gig Economy: Evolution or Revolution? and The Future of the Gig Economy and the Talent Supply Chain; and with detailed insights featured in the Gig Economy/Human Cloud Track sessions as well as throughout the conference. Collaboration in the Gig Economy takes place October 4-5, 2018 at the Omni Dallas Hotel. For more info and the full agenda, visit

Both the US Gig Economy – 2018 Edition and the full 53-page The Gig Economy and Human Cloud: 2018 Update are available for SIA’s Corporate and CWS Council Members. The Human Cloud, the Gig Economy & the Transformation of Work summary report can be obtained via the SIA website, under Free Resources. 

About Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA)

SIA is the Global Advisor on Staffing and Workforce Solutions
Elevating the Workforce Solutions Ecosystem
Founded in 1989, SIA is the global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions. Our proprietary research covers all categories of employed and non-employed work including temporary staffing, independent contracting and other types of contingent labor. SIA’s independent and objective analysis provides insights into the services and suppliers operating in the workforce solutions ecosystem including staffing firms, managed service providers, recruitment process outsourcers, payrolling/compliance firms and talent acquisition technology specialists such as vendor management systems, online staffing platforms, crowdsourcing and online work services. We also provide training and accreditation with our unique Certified Contingent Workforce Professional (CCWP) program.

Known for our award-winning content, data, support tools, publications, executive conferences and events, we help both suppliers and buyers of workforce solutions make better-informed decisions that improve business results and minimize risk. As a division of the international business media company, Crain Communications Inc., SIA is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in London, England.

Media Contact
Jennifer Arcuni, Communications Director, Staffing Industry Analysts  |  +1 (650) 390-6171  |


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