Gigonomics – Wordsmithing The New Economy

Gigonomics.  This word is popping up everywhere.  It’s been popularized in Newsweek, the Denver Post, the New York Times…  Perhaps we’re attracted to this word because it sounds so new, so web 2.0.  The truth is it isn’t new at all.  Just ask survivors of the 1991-92 jobless recovery.

Gigs are part-time or short-term jobs and gigonomics is the art of juggling several gigs simultaneously in lieu of one fulltime position with benefits.  Since this is nothing new for an estimated 1.4 million people in North America (let’s call it Gig Nation), it’s no surprise to see gig-related words creeping into our vocabularies.

Gig Economy / Age of Gigonomics – Some writers are describing the current job market in this way

Gigocracy – People of the new Gig Economy.  What’s new today is the demographics.  Where gigonomics used to be the domain of the entry-level or freelance web worker, we now see the well-educated and well-heeled joining the ranks of the freelance community.

Gigs – “ a bunch of free-floating projects” (Tina Brown, The Gig Economy)

Gigwork – A snappy way to answer the question “What are you doing these days?”

Gigomania – I made this up – but wouldn’t it make a cool word?

Gigophile – One who collects gigs for the love of it

I don’t mean to make light of a situation that doubtless many find uncomfortable or even downright scary.  Perhaps this is an opportunity for each of us to reflect on our own career or employment situation and find new reasons for gratitude.  And while we’re at it, can we look for the gig workers in our midst and find a way to make their day just a little easier?


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