This is up from 37.8 per cent four years ago, and ahead of all other employment sectors.
Education and training’s contingent workforce is followed by that of mining, construction and utilities at 35.6 per cent (up from 25.2 per cent in 2014) and the public sector at 35 per cent (up from 32.6 per cent).
“Despite the lacklustre start to the year, where we saw mixed results across the sector, we anticipate the demand for contingent employees to increase further in 2018,” Kinetic Super chief executive Katherine Kaspar says.
On the flip side, sectors least likely to offer contingent work are retail and wholesale (9.8 per cent do), financial and insurance services (17.7 per cent) and manufacturing and supply chain (20 per cent).
Almost three in five Millennials (57 per cent) and a third of Generation Z respondents (67 per cent) have either joined the gig economy instead of taking up full-time work or would consider doing so.
These figures jump to 78 per cent and 77 per cent, respectively, when asked whether they would use the gig economy to supplement their full-time work.
Fewer than one in 10 young people reject the idea of freelancing or contract work outright.
The Deloitte report finds the main appeal of the gig economy among young people is the opportunity to earn more money (when combined with other employment). This response was given by 62 per cent of Millennials.
Other major appeals are the ability to work the hours they want (39 per cent), achieve better work/life balance (37 per cent), be their own boss or work independently (33 per cent), challenge themselves in a new type of work (31 per cent), and be paid for their performance rather than earn a set salary (30 per cent).
Only one in 10 say they work in the gig economy because it is their only option.
Tom Amos, chief executive of on-demand employment marketplace Sidekicker, says short-term work offers employees flexibility and the chance to work for companies they may not otherwise have access to.
“It’s a great way for people to see what work life looks like and experience work across a variety of industries,” he says.
“Within our sidekick community, 77 per cent say the number one thing they like is flexibility and they rate that higher than job security. They are often not at a point in their lives where they need job security and a nine-to-five job.”
Sidekicker has launched a benefits program, Unleash, giving temporary workers access to perks usually reserved for full-time employees – financial planning services, wellbeing support, and training.
“We get sidekicks with experience in an area but who don’t have the skills for that next step up and we bring them into our onboarding centres and upskill them,” Amos says.
He says it allows him to generate extra spending money, work when and where he wants, and enjoy the social side of the events sector.
“Generally I have been doing waiter roles at a variety of different events, such as weddings, dinners, football games,” he says.
“They are such fun events to work at.”