It’s not just millennials who are embracing the gig economy – baby boomers are too, but they don’t necessarily like it.
BMO Wealth Management released a report Monday that said more and more baby boomers are turning to contract work because they feel “joining the gig economy is their only way of making a living.”
The report describes Canada’s labour market shifting from permanent employment to on-demand temporary or contractual employment as “the new normal” – and the challenges and opportunities within this so-called “gig economy.”
The Gig Economy: Achieving Financial Wellness with Confidence is based on a survey of more than 1,000 Canadian small-business owners. They revealed 40 per cent had or currently worked as self-employed professionals pursuing contract or freelance project-based careers.
However, most reported that while contract work offers a certain level of autonomy, it comes with serious worries, such as 87 fearing life without any medical, dental or disability benefits. The report found 57% are concerned about no paid sick days and 57% feel they are not earning enough.
Other results include:
- Most small business owners became self-employed by choice (60%).
- Of all the respondents, 40% identified as being part of gig economy now or in the past.
- Popular reasons for taking contract work: to have autonomy and control (49%); make extra money on the side (49%); balance career and family needs (42%); or because it was the only way to make an income (27%).
- More Boomers were likely to value autonomy and control when taking freelance jobs (70%) or felt it was the only option at this stage to earn income (35%).
- Generation Xers valued balancing career and family needs more than other groups (52%).
- Millennials were more inclined to work in the gig economy to make extra money on the side (53%), or until they found a better job (30%).