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Canada’s growing pool of gig workers among the world’s highest paid, new data suggests

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Canada’s casual work force has grown significantly in recent months, and new data suggests its gig workers are among the highest paid in the world.

Australia-based design platform Canva recently analyzed international data from 50 popular job categories across the online freelance platform Fiverr, looking specifically at those assignments that could be completed in three days or less. The study found that Canadians ranked 5th among the 37 member nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for average earnings on the platform. By comparison, Canada ranks 12th among OECD nations for average earnings in the traditional economy.

Social media managers stand to earn the highest wages for casual work, averaging $788 per assignment, followed by video editors, who earned an average of $680 per job, and website designers, who earned an average of $580. The most popular freelance jobs within Canada, according to the study, are proofreading and editing, followed by video editing and translation.

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“Canada’s bilingual status means that a greater proportion of the population will, statistically, be more likely to offer these type of services in both English and French, which would naturally attract more potential clients,” says Canva spokesperson Maddi Howell. “From our analysis, we can see that 17 per cent of [Canadian] freelancers that offer proofreading and editing are French speakers, 72 per cent are English speakers, and the remaining 11 per cent of sellers are speakers of minority languages.”

Another recent study conducted by SMB accounting software provider Intuit QuickBooks Canada found that the country’s casual work force has rapidly expanded during the pandemic. It found that nearly two million entrepreneurs launched a business in Canada in the past 12 months, 72 per cent of whom did so on a part-time basis, separate from their primary career – often referred to as a “side hustle” – since the pandemic began.

“The fact that people had more spare time, and the fact that people had to find sources of income as a direct result of the pandemic, prompted many to take the leap and to start their businesses, either full-time or part-time as a side hustle,” explains David Marquis, the vice-president and country manager of Intuit Canada.

According to the Intuit study, 39 per cent of Canada’s new entrepreneurs said they started their business because they had more spare time, while 23 per cent were motivated by financial pressure. An additional 15 per cent launched their business after identifying an unmet need in the market.

While some side hustlers provide their services locally, many are competing in a global digital marketplace. There, Mr. Marquis argues, Canadians have certain natural advantages over international competitors, which may be driving the higher-than-average rates.

“We’re diverse, educated, and digitally savvy; we are more internet-connected than many of the other nations,” he says. “We’re cheaper; if you look at us relative to the U.S. and other markets, our labour pool market, especially in tech, is cheaper, and that’s a draw. Time zones, we’re sitting next to the biggest market in the world, and that time zone, especially in a virtual environment, creates some synergies that make us an attractive market.”

Mr. Marquis adds that many of Canada’s newest entrepreneurs are part of its youngest working-age demographic, suggesting that the casual economy will continue to grow in the coming years. According to the study, 44 per cent of those who launched a business this year are members of Gen Z or millennials, an age range that broadly encompasses those under the age of 40 today. Only 25 per cent of new entrepreneurs are members of Gen X, who are currently in their 40s and 50s, and only 7 per cent are Baby Boomers, the generation that is currently in its late-50s to mid-70s.

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“Those [younger] generations, as they emerge, more people that will take a step toward entrepreneurial activities, which means we’ll have more entrepreneurs in Canada starting new businesses,” says Mr. Marquis.

While Canada’s growing casual work force is likely a significant contributor to the nation’s economy, there remains some hesitancy to track and include data about this community in official economic reports.

“We get these monthly jobs reports in Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere, and they really only answer the question, ‘Do you have a job or not?’ and that’s really not the relevant question right now,” says Danielle Goldfarb, the head of global research for RIWI Corp., a global trend-tracking and prediction platform. “The relevant question is, ‘How are you earning your money?’”

Ms. Goldfarb explains that casual work has long been considered too small and statistically insignificant to include in official economic data, but argues that the activity seen in the last 12 months warrants further study.

The Bank of Canada did put out an analysis of Canada’s informal work force in 2019, which Ms. Goldfarb says is an acknowledgment that this community is a significant economic driver, but believes it is yet to receive the attention it deserves. (The Bank of Canada declined to be interviewed for this story.)

“It just raises a lot of really important questions for us to think about at this particular juncture,” she says. “It’s really important for us to understand the phenomenon; it’s more important than traditional official data would suggest it is; that we know, and our data supports that.”

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LeVar Burton: ‘Jeopardy!’ host gig began ‘scary,’ ended fun – New York Daily News

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Labor-For-Hire Company Struggling to Find Gig Workers Despite Hiking Wages

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  • Laborjack said it can’t find enough gig workers to meet soaring demand for its services.
  • The Colorado-based company boosted staff wages but said there’s huge competition for labor.
  • Clients are so desperate for labor that they’re no longer price-sensitive, its founders added.

A labor-for-hire company in Fort Collins, Colorado, says it’s missing out on huge chunks of revenue because it can’t find enough workers to take more jobs on.

Blake Craig and Josh Moser, founders of Laborjack, told Insider that more people had been applying to work at the company during 2021, but that it still wasn’t enough to meet the massive growth in demand for its services.

“Good help is hard to find,” Craig said. “And it’s even harder right now.”

Read more: These 9 food tech startups are capitalizing on the labor crunch with tools that help franchisees hire or automate the restaurant workforce

Laborjack staff doing landscaping work

Laborjack’s staff are mainly college students who do gig jobs in landscaping, moving, and general staffing.

Laborjack


Laborjack hires out labor to help with moving, landscaping, and general staffing — often to individuals who need extra help with projects.

“But right now, the bulk of our business is focused on helping other businesses that can’t get the staffing that they need,” Craig said. This includes delivery, brewing, and construction companies.

Around 80% of its workers are college students or recent graduates. But some of them have full-time jobs and use their gig work at Laborjack to supplement their income. During the pandemic, they’ve been working more hours at their main jobs and don’t need the side income anymore, Craig said.

In June, just over 200 workers completed a shift on Laborjack’s platform – but nearly a fifth of these only did one job.

This US is currently in the midst of a huge labor shortage that’s causing some businesses to cut operating hours, slash production, and raise prices. Joblist CEO Kevin Harrington told Insider that it’s primarily driven by people in entry-level, hourly-paid, and customer-facing jobs.

“Hiring had never been an issue for us until about February of this year,” Laborjack’s Craig said. “There’s a lot of other people going after the same talent that we are – not only new workers but also our existing workforce.”

“There are a lot of people fishing in a small pond,” he added.

The demand for Laborjack’s services roughly tripled over the past year, while the number of job applicants has increased by just a quarter, Craig said.

“We’re still struggling to keep up with the demand that’s coming in for the service we offer,” Moser said. 

This is despite Laborjack rolling out its biggest set of worker perks yet. This includes increasingly average payouts, made up of wages and on-job bonuses, to just over $26 an hour. The company is dishing out $75 hiring and referral bonuses if a new hire completes five jobs, too.

Businesses are ‘on the verge of desperation’

Laborjack has made its services more expensive to cover the higher wages. Moser said its clients had changed their pricing tolerance “drastically” over the past three months and were no longer price-sensitive.

“They just need to get people in the doors because otherwise their business will collapse,” Moser said. “They’re on the verge of desperation.”

Moser said that, for example, the event and trade show industry had rebounded massively with the reopening of the US economy. “They’re chomping at the bit for any amount of workers we can get them.”

Laborjack founders Blake Craig, Josh Moser

Laborjack’s founders say the tight labor market is holding them back.

Laborjack


Laborjack’s June revenue is up around 90% year-over-year, but “we could be growing more if there was more labor on the market,” Moser said. Laborjack is turning down jobs worth up to $2,500 each day and is struggling to balance its B2B and consumer sides, which are “both in full swing,” Moser said.

“Our margin has decreased despite the fact that we’re increasing prices, just because we’re trying to pay out all these bonuses,” Craig added.

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Van Oord wins Baltic Eagle foundations and array cable gig – reNews

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Iberdrola has awarded Van Oord a contract for the transportation and installation of monopile foundations and array cables at the 476MW Baltic Eagle offshore wind farm off Germany.

The deals were first revealed in the subscriber-only newsletter reNEWS.

Van Oord will deploy its 8000-tonne heavy lift installation vessel Svanen to install the 50 foundations.

Offshore works for the Baltic Eagle project will start in 2023.

Van Oord’s cable laying vessel Nexus and trencher Dig-It will be deployed for the array cable laying.

Iberdrola country manager for Germany Iris Stempfle said: “Iberdrola is one of the leading developers contributing to the energy transition by investing in offshore wind projects around the globe – in Germany, our Baltic Hub will have an installed capacity of 826MW by the end of 2024.

“Tapping into the expertise of Van Oord yet again makes us confident that Baltic Eagle offshore wind farm will be delivered as planned.”

Van Oord Offshore Wind managing director Arnoud Kuis said: “We are very pleased to be working with Iberdrola again, this time on the Baltic Eagle project in the German Baltic Sea.

“Combining the installation of foundations and the supply and laying of cables will ensure efficient project execution.”

Baltic Eagle is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2024.

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