PHILADEPHIA -- Flourish, a global venture capital firm focused on early-stage fintech investments that enhance financial health, today unveiled The Digital Hustle: Gig Worker Financial Lives Under Pressure, United States Spotlight. The report is based on surveys of 700 gig workers across five cities: Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
On October 22, 2020, Flourish Ventures unveiled "The Digital Hustle: Gig Worker Financial Lives Under Pressure, United States Spotlight." The report is based on surveys of 700 gig workers across five cities: Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
The United States Spotlight is fifth in a series of Flourish's year-long global study of more than 3,000 gig workers from Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa and the U.S., all countries with some of the largest and fastest-growing gig economies. In August 2020, Flourish partnered with digital worker platform company Steady to better understand how U.S. gig workers' financial lives were impacted and their hopes and concerns for the future.
Gig workers in the U.S., employed in service roles, such as e-hailing and delivery, were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 68% reporting a decline in total income. Nearly 3 out of 5 workers earned less than $1,000 per month, compared to 1 in 5 before the lockdown. A majority of U.S. respondents – 89% – were concerned about COVID-19, and at the time of the survey, respondents were most worried about the impact to their livelihoods, although health risks were also a meaningful concern.
"With the onset of COVID-19 and the accompanying economic fallout, our research found that the majority of workers in the digital gig economy are living on the edge, piecing together temporary and inconsistent work and struggling to make ends meet," explained Emmalyn Shaw, managing partner at Flourish. "The pandemic and ensuing economic dislocation significantly impacted this population and highlighted their limited financial resilience."
Steady CEO Adam Roseman said, "As COVID-19 continues to redefine nearly every aspect of daily life, earning a stable income is much harder to achieve for tens of millions of hourly and gig workers. Consistent and coordinated government and private-sector support will be needed."