Freelancers, or “gig economy workers,” account for more than 34 percent of the U.S. workforce, according to an Intuit/Emergent Research analysis.  That group includes your local Uber driver or TaskRabbit handyman – even your Airbnb landlord.  What’s more, that figure is expected to climb to 43 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020.  Suffice to say: the gig economy isn’t disappearing anytime soon.  Americans are increasingly chasing income from one or more sources that pay per job – as opposed to the traditional salaried employment.

But, while the Gig Economy is booming, it turns out that not every gig employer is tops for contractors., the digital business publication, researched and analyzed the top gig employers and discovered some surprises: Some of the best known gig employers such as Uber and Airbnb ranked at the lower end of the list because of high start-up costs that can include owning a car or even a home. And, Uber in particular, takes a much higher commission from each job compared with many of the other gig employers that Fit Small Business researched.

Fit Small Business found that the best gig employers:

• Offer jobs one can do for oneself

• Don’t take commissions from freelancers

• Have national networks accessible to millions

The best service-based employers like TaskRabbit and Rover, offer freelancers good pay, flexible schedules, and don’t require barriers to entry such as owning a car or home.



2. TaskRabbit

3. Guru

4. Rover

5. HopSkipDrive

6. Freelancer

7. Fiverr

8. Favor Delivery

9. Upwork

10. DoorDash

To create the list, Fit Small Business scoured job sites to find all the available gig employers.  Then, the publication removed those who don’t operate in the U.S. or don’t meet the minimum criteria (see below), narrowing the list down to 30 gig employers. The publication ranked those 30 gig employers based on wages, employer commissions, geographic availability, quality of life, barrier to entry and tax implications.  The result can be found HERE.

Fit Small Business’ ranking of the top gig employers is based on six criteria:

• Average hourly pay – Average dollar amount a freelancer for each company makes for each gig-related service

• Employer commission – Percentage of fees taken by each gig employer from the freelancer’s earnings

• Geographic availability – Number of markets where each gig employer is active in the U.S.

• Quality of life – Employee rankings on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed which represent how freelancers feel about “gigging” for specific employers

• Barrier to entry – Type of equipment a gig worker needs to own in order to freelance for a particular gig employer

• Tax implications – Binary metric which depend on whether the gig freelancers are W2 employees or 1099 freelancers for tax purposes.  All gig employers that included are 1099 employers.

“Many freelancers associate companies like Uber and Airbnb as the quintessential gig employers, and for some they remain viable options. But, when we looked at how easy it was for anyone to get started in a gig job, it was a huge surprise to discover how low these companies ranked on our list,” says Eric Noe, Editor-in-Chief, Fit Small Business. “Hopefully, this list will help freelancers decide what’s the best option for them — regardless of their means or geographic location.”