gig economy


: economic activity that involves the use of temporary or freelance workers to perform jobs typically in the service sector
One reason the gig economy has taken off: People tend to change jobs more frequently and many enjoy the flexibility of choosing when and where they work.Marcia Pledger
While they are still able to work, boomers will be a big part of a subset of the sharing economy that is sometimes called the "gig economy." Gigs are what they sound like: assignments, contracts or part-time jobs.Linda Nazareth

Examples of gig economy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Despite the heavy rain, the group is here to direct their anger at the politicians, who are inside, deciding the future of Europe’s gig economy. WIRED, 20 Nov. 2023 Browse Newsletters Read: The parasitic workplace To be human in the age of the gig economy, the novel suggests, is to be unfulfilled, a philosophy that is in direct contrast with AllOver’s. Bekah Waalkes, The Atlantic, 17 Nov. 2023 The Hollywood strikes are badass, galvanizing examples of how to respond to abstract threats (like the gig economy and AI) via tangible action with real leverage (no writing or acting until there’s a fair contract). Carmiel Banasky, Variety, 28 Oct. 2023 Majorities of California voters in 2020 sided with the GOP rather than the Democratic leadership position on a handful of ballot measures involving property taxes, rent control, criminal justice, affirmative action and the gig economy. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Oct. 2023 But the algorithms powering new bots that can pass legal exams, create fantastical imagery in seconds, or remove harmful content on social media are trained on datasets—images, video, and text—labeled by gig economy workers in some of the world’s cheapest labor markets. Niamh Rowe, WIRED, 16 Oct. 2023 As corporate management models and zealous state legislatures refashion the academy into a gated outpost of the gig economy, the humanities have lost their luster for undergraduates. A.o. Scott, New York Times, 21 June 2023 And the gig economy further disempowered America’s already precarious workers. Mike Pearl, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2023 The wounds that afflict Brinkley’s characters stem from social inequality—police brutality, exploitation in the gig economy, and doctors’ racist dismissals of Black patients—and from such universal vulnerabilities as family discord, heritable illnesses, and our own resistance to change. By Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gig economy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


gig entry 1

First Known Use

2009, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gig economy was in 2009

Dictionary Entries Near gig economy

Cite this Entry

“Gig economy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!