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'Gig economy' makes it into Merriam-Webster

April 24, 2019

“Gig economy” is one of the more than 640 new words Merriam-Webster added this month to its dictionary, the publication announced yesterday.

Merriam-Webster defines gig economy as: (coined in 2009) economic activity that involves the use of temporary or freelance workers to perform jobs typically in the service sector.

Definitions of the gig economy vary widely among commentators, according to Staffing Industry Analysts’ online Lexicon of workforce solutions ecosystem terms. The more narrow definition would include work structured as small projects of a relatively limited duration typically facilitated by an internet platform or app (i.e. freelancing as intermediated by vendors operating in the so-called “human cloud”). SIA’s definition is broader than this in that it includes any work of a fixed duration done by temporary or contingent workers — sourced directly or through a staffing agency — and independent contractors.

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