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Flexibility and other attributes of on-demand work are tailor made for millennials. This was affirmed today by Mary Meeker’s annual “data dump” at the Code Conference. We argued a similar point in our report on the local on-demand economy (LODE):

High unemployment has created a steady supply of service providers to fill the ranks of LODE’s workforce. Millennials in addition to being avid consumers of LODE services, also possess work habits that are conducive to the flexibility that LODE service providers enjoy. These factors will further accelerate as LODE services move up market to higher-end professions, such as professional, creative and technical fields… The characteristic flexible hours that several LODE services offer could be form-fitted for a generation that doesn’t want to be told when to come to work.

Specifically, Meeker presented data showing that Millennials now constitute 44 percent of the on-demand (“1099 economy) workforce. This was just one part of her robust presentation (see all 197 slides here).

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This has a great deal to do with the attributes millennials seek in a shifting definition of “work.” They value flexibility greater than salary, and many of them see themselves in jobs that have the flexible hours that are characteristic of LODE employment (i.e. Uber driver).

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This means a few different things, all of which are supportive of continued LODE growth. Given that Millennials are increasingly taking over the ranks of the adult working public, their affinity for LODE jobs is supportive of the ongoing health of the sector’s supply side.

But it’s also supportive of demand. We’ve argued that LODE is tailor made for millennials as consumers. Bringing it all together, Millennials’ escalating presence on both supply and demand sides of the LODE equation indicates a growing and balanced marketplace.


This post, along with ongoing LODE coverage, builds up to BIA/Kelsey NOW, a one-day conference taking place June 12 in San Francisco. We hope to see you there. 

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