Nearside Releases Study on the Gig Economy and the Evolution of Self-Employment Since March 2020

Nearside Study Underscores Work Challenges Amidst Pandemic and Signals Emerging Opportunities in Self-Employment and Gig Worker Resilience

Nearside, a neobanking platform built on the belief that starting a business should be easier, has released the results of its 2022 study on how the pandemic has changed the gig economy and self-employment. This report examines data collected from more than 1,000 self-employed workers to examine the fluctuations in both career and wellbeing among the self-employed workforce since March 2020. Download the full report here and receive a free copy within minutes.

“Self-employed workers have faced extraordinary challenges over the past two years as the COVID-19 pandemic introduced lockdowns and restrictions across the US, and our company aims to better understand how we can support them in succeeding,” said Thomson Nguyen, CEO of Nearside. “Many were laid off from their jobs and turned to self-employment as a plan B, while many established business owners closed storefronts, paused services, or shifted their businesses online. Closely examining their needs is paramount to equipping them with tools and financial products to ease the transition, and ultimately, to thrive, which is our purpose at Nearside.”

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self-employment in the US is at an all-time high, with 28 percent of workers having some kind of self-employment, and 14 percent citing self-employment as their primary source of income. This group encompasses a broad range of people, including small business owners, freelancers, and gig workers. Nearside designed this report to help detail different self-employment options, industries, and incomes in the wake of the pandemic. The report also contains quantitative statistics on how the self-employment industry suffered or thrived during the pandemic.

Some key findings indicate that 37% of workers lost their previous job due to the pandemic and 63% of self-employed workers now work for themselves as a direct result of it. The pandemic also led to a substantial drop in both volumes of work and income. In terms of working from home, about half of all respondents said it had a positive impact on their work life, while only 19% said the impact was negative.

In addition to statistics about general trends and attitudes in the gig economy, the report includes:

  • Self-employment industries that thrived the most during the pandemic
  • Self-employment industries that suffered the most during the pandemic
  • Who did and didn’t receive government assistance during the pandemic
  • Demographic breakdown of the self-employed workforce in the US during COVID-19

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“The findings in our report reveal some very specific challenges that self-employed workers have faced during the pandemic, which we are factoring into our product plans,” said Nearside’s Head of Growth Tim Wu. “The encouraging news is that wellbeing has increased, and the shift to remote work is likely a factor. Empowering more people to experience the autonomy and flexibility that self-employment offers is behind everything we create at Nearside.”

Nearside Sprout, a service allowing users to incorporate a new business in minutes, and for hundreds of dollars less than is typically required, is the latest tool within the larger toolkit that the company is developing to make starting a business easier.

Later this year, Nearside will announce additional features including website development, Yelp profile launch assistance, and other options to help new business owners go from idea to launch. These next-generation offerings complement Nearside’s core financial offerings, which include free business checking, 2.2% unlimited cashback on business purchases in 2022, free ATM withdrawals, small business loans, and discounts on software and tools.

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