New Report Examines the State of the Flexible Workforce in America

Instawork publishes first-of-its-kind data detailing the massive growth in flexible, hourly work

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Instawork, the leading flexible work platform with more than three million users, is releasing its inaugural State of the Flexible Workforce report, describing the fastest-growing segment of the American workforce. The data in the report sheds light on the diversity, quality, and motivations of these hourly workers, as well as pinpointing the factors that make them successful.

The State of the Flexible Workforce compares flexible workers side by side with hourly workers to highlight their differences in education, pay, and other areas. As a result of these differences, flexible workers are in rapidly increasing demand, especially in industries like hospitality, entertainment, food service, warehouse logistics.

The report's key findings found that flexible workers are:

  • The fastest-growing segment of the labor force
  • Mostly between ages 25 and 44
  • More highly educated than hourly workers overall
  • Motivated by non-monetary factors like setting their own schedules
  • Paid more than permanent employees doing similar jobs
  • Facing zero gaps in pay (on average) across gender, race, and ethnicity

To download the full report or for more information, please visit

The ability to choose when and how to work is particularly motivating for more than 75% of surveyed flexible workers who stated they are the sole earners in their household and took care of someone else. Earning extra income is also a prime motivation. With the recent inflation in consumer prices, flexible work has become an important way to make ends meet. Three-quarters of the survey respondents said they used flexible work to pay for essentials.

Almost half identify as Black/African-American, and only 15% identify primarily as White. With the diversity of the flexible work population, there's no room for discrimination on flexible work platforms as the pay for each shift is set in advance and does not change depending who works the shift. 

"Flexible workers are more diverse, better educated, and more entrepreneurial than hourly workers as a whole," said Daniel Altman, Instawork's Chief Economist. "When you consider their quality and reliability, it's no surprise that they almost always receive higher pay in the same roles."

Workers aren't just looking for more hours; they are also looking for higher pay. In another Instawork survey from November 2021, almost half of respondents said they would not work for less than $15/hour — more than double the minimum wage in many states.

Led by Chief Economist Daniel Altman, the Instawork Economic Research Division analyzes and offers insights into labor trends, particularly within the hourly workforce. The team's findings have been featured by CBS NewsCNN InternationalThe Wall Street Journal, EntrepreneurAssociated Press, and more.

Instawork was recently ranked as one of the country's top 10% of fastest-growing companies by Inc. 5000 and was included in the 2022 Forbes Next Billion Dollar Startup list. The platform received the 2022 ACE Award recipient for "Best Innovation" and one of the "Best Business Apps" by Business Insider. 

About Instawork

Founded in 2016, Instawork is the leading flexible work app for local, hourly professionals. Its digital marketplace connects thousands of businesses and more than three million workers, filling a critical role in local economies. Instawork has been featured on CBS News, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Associated Press, and more. Instawork helps businesses in the food & beverage, hospitality, and warehouse/logistics industries fill temporary and permanent job opportunities in more than 25 markets across the U.S. and Canada. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Media Contact 
Kira Caban
Head of Strategic Communications

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Instawork State of the Flexible Workforce