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4 gig economy trends that are radically transforming the US job market


No matter what they’re called — freelancers, independent contractors or flex workers — the folks who make up the gig economy now total nearly 60 million, and they are becoming an ever bigger slice of the American workforce. In fact, a recent survey commissioned by online freelancing platform Upwork and Freelancers Union shows that the freelance workforce is growing three times faster than the overall U.S. workforce and that the majority of people will be working independently by 2027.


2018 PERSOLKELLY APAC Workforce Insights

Hong Kong is leading in APAC, 55% of respondents agree that there is a preference for more flexible employment. This compares to 43% for the entire Asia-Pacific region, and by country, 37% in Australia, 36% in both India and Malaysia and 47% in Singapore. In HK, Front-line sales, event promoters, back-office roles and IT industries are the industry sectors where contract workers are most in demand.


Global Startup Ecosystem Report

China is the primary growth driver in this shift.

  • In 2014, only 13.9% of current unicorns were from China. 

  • In 2017 and 2018 so far, that number has grown to 35%

  • While for the United States it has decreased from 61.1% to 41.3%.



HK is mirroring the global trend, according to a Hong Kong Legislative Council Secretarial report 

From 1999 to 2015, Hong Kong saw a 40% increase in the size of its flexible workforce. “The 2018 PERSOLKELLY APAC Workforce Insights - Gig Economy: How Free Agents are Redefining Work” survey , which surveyed 9,000 hiring managers and job candidates between the ages of 20 and 70, from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, reveals that Hong Kong leads the way when it comes to embracing the concepts of the gig economy in the Asia-Pacific region.



In Hong Kong’s gig economy, freedom remains elusive for most ‘slashies’

In Hong Kong, the trend is certainly aided by the fact that financial services and information technology, its two fastest-expanding economic sectors, favor the hiring of contractors. A survey conducted by Robert Walters in 2016 showed that as much as 60% of local contractors are hired by the financial services sector.



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