Snapshot into the UK Gig Economy


The UK’s gig economy has seen incredible growth over the last 5 years, with companies such as Deliveroo and Uber dominating the gig economy world they are also starting to reshape the way we work.

Firstly let us define what we mean by the term ‘gig economy’:

The use of online platforms to find small jobs, which are at times completed immediately after request (also known as – on-demand).

With the gig economy and it’s incredible growth rate, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the reports and statistics that come out with it. These metrics shouldn’t be ignored as the gig economy is set to be a big part of business and staffing in the not so distant future.

The data people has been collated and put into a digestable format. The idea being that the key metrics which really encompasses the gig economy have been added below. (If you know of any more metrics that should be added in, let me know!)

The UK Gig Economy in Numbers

  • There are an estimated 1.1 million gig workers in the UK.
  • 69% of gig workers are male with 31% being female.
  • 34% of gig workers are more likely to be aged 16-30 compared to other self-employed workers (11%) and employees (26%).
  • 86% of gig workers are under the age of 55.
  • 44% of gig workers have degrees.
  • 80% work 16 hours per week or less.
  • 12% work 16-34 hours per week.
  • 8% work 35 hours of more per week.
  • 62% of gig workers is a supplement to another form of income.
  • 59% are providing professional, creative or administrative services.
  • 33% are providing skilled manual or personal services.
  • 16% are providing driving and delivery services.

Here’s a breakdown of what actual services are provided by gig works within each grouping.

  • Personal Services: cleaning, moving or DIY Tasks.
  • Skilled Manual Work: plumbing, building, electrics or carpentry.
  • Admin Work: data entry, sourcing or maintenance.
  • Creative/IT Work: writing, graphic design or web development.
  • Professional Work: consultancy, legal advice or accounting.
  • Delivery Courier Services: Food, grocery or general.
  • Driving/Taxi Services: Picking up and dropping off passengers.

Where exactly are these gig workers located in the UK?

  • 27% of UK gig workers are based in London.
  • Compare this to 17% self-employed and 13% employees.

What about the frequency of work?

  • 50% work less than monthly.
  • 14% work once or twice a month.
  • 13% work once or twice per week.
  • 12% work most days.
  • 12% work every day.

Diving into the Gig Worker Experience Data

  • Roughly 578,000 people aged between 16 – 30 have tried some form of gig work.
  • 26% of young people (16 – 30) would consider gig work.
  • Based on the survey’s response the number of young people within the gig economy could grow to around 3.7 million.
  • 48% of gig workers who are age 16 – 30 have other sources of work.
  • 73% of gig workers who are age 31 – 54 have other sources of work.
  • 15% of young people say they do gig work as it’s flexible and able to fit around studies.
  • 18% of working age women would consider gig work.
  • 74% of weekly gig workers are men.

The figures above should provide you with a great snapshot into the potential of the gig economy from a business owners point of view but also potential gig workers view too. The gig economy is here to stay.
Check out the UK freelancer figures to get even more insight.
If you want to read the full 65-page source you can find it here.