Today, we announced the findings from our second annual Branch x Marqeta Gig Payments Report, a joint study with Branch, the leading workforce payments platform, on the work and payments preferences of gig workers. We surveyed over 1,000 workers who turned to gig and 1099 work in the last six months and found that rising inflation led more workers to the gig economy, citing increased expenses and fuel costs as the reasons for seeking more work.
The survey shows that the vast majority of respondents, 85%, have recently increased or planned to increase their gig work, with 58% citing inflation as the primary reason for seeking more work. We also found that workers cited higher pay, scheduling flexibility, and faster payouts as their top incentives for taking on gig work. With rising inflation cited as impacting both work and personal expenses for 57% of respondents, many surveyed said access to cash more quickly is critical to meet financial needs. The most costly expense for workers surveyed is fuel (61%), followed by equipment/supplies (9%).
“Workers have increasingly turned to the gig economy to have greater speed and flexibility over when they work and how they get paid,” said Branch Founder and CEO Atif Siddiqi. “As contractors navigate challenges such as inflation, managing expenses, and running their own businesses, instant payments paired with cash flow management tools can empower this next wave of entrepreneurs.”
When it comes to choosing the type of gig work, we saw that the profile of the independent worker has shifted to reflect the ongoing pandemic. Gig workers are choosing the food/grocery delivery sector (50%) and cleaning/home repair services (12%) as their primary industries, as rideshare decreased significantly from 10% of respondents in 2021 to 5% this year. The Great Resignation trend is also fueling gig work, with 35% of respondents citing they’ve quit, or plan to quit, full-time employment in the past year to join the gig economy.
The report shows how gig workers are requiring faster payments to better manage life’s expenses, especially amid growing inflation and rising gas prices that have had a huge impact on their work this year so far. Branch and Marqeta are enabling faster access to wages with modern cards, supporting the growth of the gig economy through enhanced financial security.