Gig work appears to function best for Baby Boomers as a way to bridge to retirement and make ends meet.
Millennials seem to embrace gig work as a means of balancing work/life demands, but have financial wellness challenges.
Gen Xers appear to be the least financially secure gig workers and the least satisfied with their current situation.
The “gig economy”, in which individuals act as independent contractors, rather than employees, has become a significant source of employment for three generations of Americans – Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. While each group differs in terms of lifestyle and reasons for choosing gig work, all face challenges when it comes to achieving financial wellness. This paper takes a deeper dive into the gig work experience by examining how it differs across the generations:
Millennial gig workers are most likely to have financial wellness challenges due to low income, high debt levels, low homeownership rates, and limited access to employer-sponsored benefits – all of which can leave a family with young children especially vulnerable financially.
Gen X gig workers are most likely to struggle financially and work the most hours per week of any generation, but still earn less than the average Boomer gig worker.
Baby Boomer gig workers are most likely to start gig work due to circumstances beyond their control, and use it as a way to make ends meet.
This paper describes how a financial wellness approach to employer-sponsored benefit programs, focused on helping employees achieve financial security, can help improve the wellness of employees and employers alike – a result Prudential terms “The Wellness Effect.”
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