The gig economy: when cool goes cold and hard

It is not just 18-20s who are playing under the uncertain contracts of the gig economy. Peter Manley shares the economic realities of gigging into your 50s.

The gig economy sounds cool. It’s apparent benefits include flexible hours, being your own boss and the freedom to selecting jobs that you are actually interested in. Giggers, we imagine, are free spirits, no longer tied to a desk and only working if and when it suits them.

For youngsters on a gap year or between full-time jobs, a stint of gigs with no ties is a winner. But for anyone who needs a steady income, like fiftysomethings with attendant responsibilities who find themselves out of a full-time job, the economic realities of a life of gigs are anything but glamorous. Yet it’s increasingly becoming the best option as employers too are discovering the financial joys of zero commitment.

The erosion of regular hours and employee benefits has been across the board.

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