National survey of gig workers paints a picture of poor working conditions, low pay

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Research BriefPDF

Key findings

A survey of gig workers in the spring of 2020 revealed that their jobs provided poor working conditions, even relative to other service-sector workers, who themselves typically receive low pay.

  • About 1 in 7 gig workers (14%) earned less than the federal minimum wage on an hourly basis. More than a quarter (29%) earned less than the state minimum wage that would be applicable if they were a W-2 service-sector worker.
  • Three out of every 5 gig workers (62%) lost earnings because of “technical difficulties clocking in or out,” compared with 19% of W-2 service-sector workers.
  • One in 5 gig workers (19%) went hungry because they could not afford enough to eat. Thirty percent used the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) within a month of the survey, twice the rate of W-2 service-sector workers (15%).
  • Nearly one-third (31%) of gig workers did not pay the full amount of their utility bills in the month prior to the survey.