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Size of global gig economy is $3.7 trillion: SIA

October 04, 2018

The size of the global gig economy was estimated at $3.7 trillion in 2017, said Staffing Industry Analysts President Barry Asin in a keynote speech this morning at the Collaboration in the Gig Economy conference in Dallas.

SIA considers contingent work and the gig economy to be synonymous, and it includes agency workers, independent contractors, statement-of-work consultants, human cloud workers and other temporary workers.

And it’s poised to grow, Asin said in his keynote. AI is also a growing part of the landscape and many companies are developing and using AI-based products for sourcing, screening, matching, prediction, optimization, recruiter roles.

AI guru and Socos Labs Executive Chair and co-founder Dr. Vivienne Ming in her keynote asked the workforce solutions ecosystem to give thought to how people can maintain their value in this ever-developing technological climate. Ming has devoted her life to researching human potential.

An SIA survey of staffing client companies found that when asked what percent of their workforce was contingent, the median response was 20% today. However, when asked the same questions looking 10 years in the future, the median response was 25%.

In addition, only 15% of enterprise-size firms use online staffing firms today, but 53% are considering using them in three years.

But even with the rise in the human cloud and online staffing, traditional staffing will remain, Asin said.

The Collaboration in the Gig Economy Conference continues today, including a competition styled after the “Shark Tank” television show where five gig economy firms will face off against one another.

Tomorrow will feature a keynote panel called “The Future of the Gig Economy and the Talent Supply Chain.” Panelists:

  • Teresa Carroll, executive VP; president, global talent solutions; and general manager — sales/marketing/human resources, Kelly Services
  • Michael Kearns, VP, enterprise, Toptal
  • Doug Leeby, CEO, Beeline
  • Jonathan Novich, VP, product strategy, Bullhorn


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