Gig Economy Growth Predictions, 2023: How High Inflation, Higher Interest Rates Affect Gig Work & Direct Selling

This is a complicated moment for the economy, even a fragile one. Inflation rose 8.6% in May, the highest number on record since 1981. The Federal Reserve Bank is set to increase interest rates to cool down spending. Gas prices are set to hover above $4 per gallon for the foreseeable future. How will this affect gig economy growth for 2023?

We can make several educated guesses based on the trends we’ve seen play out last year and this year. Join us for gig economy growth predictions for 2023 – a year, no doubt, of change and uncertainty.

Gig Economy Growth – Top Trends for Next Year

If you’re worried about the growth of the gig economy, it’s important to remember that gig work is still forecast to grow to 50% of the economy by 2027. Still, it’s important to consider how economic shifts might affect gig workers, as we do below.  

1. Technology’s Role Will Become Even More Critical

Those who have been paying attention know that technology plays a crucial role in gig work. This applies equally to direct selling orgs and large gig platforms – consultants have come to expect easy-to-use technology that adapts to them, rather than the reverse. 

Partly this is a consequence of platforms like Uber changing expectations with their mobile apps. But it’s also a result of the growth of gig work itself. The gig economy is expected to grow to $455 billion in 2022, over twice its size in 2018, and technology helps consultants and contractors deal with an abundance of opportunities that by nature require them to always be on the go.    

Now that inflation is top of mind for many, it is going to be even more important to have technology that meets them where they are – that provides a simplified experience. At a chaotic, anxious time, folks want technology that makes it easier to make money, that feels like it works for their benefit

For too long consultants, contractors, and distributors have been burdened with inhospitable technology and multiple, poorly integrated systems. Stand out in 2023 with performance enablement technology that feels truly modern and digital. That’s going to be crucial.

2. Company Empathy Will Increase in Importance (Case in Point: Gas)

Not only is inflation projected to rise 6.7% for all of 2022, according to the United Nations, but fuel prices are also a factor. It’s no secret that gas prices are up worldwide for a confluence of different reasons – according to the Associated Press, these factors include Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and America’s depleted capacity to refine oil into gas. 

As fuel prices increase, gig workers are going to get hit. Many consultants, contractors, and distributors use cars to get around and make money – everyone from Uber drivers to cookware distributors who need to drive to a product demo. 

Consider using learning and development (L&D) content to show folks how to create efficiencies in their use of fuel. Rallyware’s Performance Enablement Platform (PEP) helps you design L&D content and automate their flow to the workforce based on triggers like personal goals and weekly achievements. Regardless of the technological specifics – which you can always investigate more by requesting a demo – the fact is that you can use L&D content to show the workforce that you empathize with the high fuel prices; that there are ways to ease their fuel usage numbers; and that gig work as a whole can be made easier. 

Though there’s not much you can do about higher gas prices, you can show up – and show the workforce that you care.

3. ‘Great Resignation’ Will Require Asking Hard Questions

Throughout 2020 and into 2021, the Great Resignation was a major factor in the job economy. People were leaving their standard-issue jobs en masse: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 47 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs in 2021. 

In some sense this redounded to the benefit of gig work. Stores and restaurants were closing, supply chains were disrupted, hours were cut – forms of gig work like direct selling and freelancing were obvious, profitable alternatives. Still today, worker shortages and voluntary job quitting continue unabated.  

Now, with inflation and interest rates set to rise, it’s hard to know what the Great Resignation will look like in 2023. Will the workforce return to non-gig work out of a craving for certainty? It’s doubtful – most industries that were struggling in 2021 and 2022 will likely continue to be that way next year. 

What happens if too many workers join the gig workforce? Will the gig economy be able to handle it? The gig economy is projected to include 50% of the U.S. workforce by 2027, and economic challenges might speed up that transformation. Is your organization ready to retain that volume of workers and help them succeed? Do you have the technology that will unlock their full potential? These are the questions you should be asking yourself as we stare down another year of the Great Resignation.    

4. Consumer Spending Will Slow

Get ready – with interest rates going up, consumer purchasing will likely slow. (That’s the hope behind interest rate increases, after all – to cool off the economy.) Consumers will have less discretionary money to spend. That might mean fewer Ubers, TaskRabbits, and direct selling purchases – which could lead to less engaged workforces, who see higher hills to climb to reach their goals.

There are things you can do to prepare. As usual, the technology you use will be decisive here. Can you automate L&D content that coaches consultants on how to persuade reluctant buyers? Can your technology gamify sales to help the workforce stay engaged with their success journey – even when it’s a struggle? Can your platform help the workforce track and manage day-to-day opportunities? 

Obviously, corporate headquarters can’t coach, encourage, and guide their workforce individually – but they can acquire technology that’s capable of doing so. Such platforms can close enthusiasm gaps in the workforce. At the moment when workers are ready to give up, the right technology meets them where they are, showing them how to accomplish their weekly income goals and making it easy to do so.

Rallyware is built to help you adapt to changes in economic reality – next year and beyond. Click here to request your free demonstration.