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'Gig economy' speeds up in S. Korea Updated: 2019-04-26 16:10:34 KST

Lee Do-kyung works in the finance industry but after he gets off work, he holds wine classes.
To inform people about his lessons which deal with the history and basics of wine, Lee uses an activity platform service called 'Frip'.
In the 'Frip' application, many 'hosts' like him provide all types of classes from sports to culture and people can easily sign up for them.

"When I come here, I feel recharged and relaxed because the attendees pay attention to my classes. I learned about wine in France, and I want to inform people who have an interest in wine."

Lee is one of many involved in the so-called 'gig' economy.
McKinsey & Company define it as irregular work that is bought and sold through a digital marketplace.
This excludes ongoing part-time employment and freelance work that is not contracted through an online talent platform.

Another popular example of people sharing their talent is in the fashion field.
Many fashion designers spend their time outside of work giving advice to people in need of a new style.
Jang Kyoung-hee, a fashion director, is one of them.
She is happy to share her experience with others.

"Because I am a designer with a lot of experience, I am sharing my know-how with others. I think having confidence in one's clothes is extremely important for being confident about oneself."

So with more Koreans starting to get involved in the 'gig economy', what does the future look like?
According to McKinsey & Company,
online talent platforms, including websites like LinkedIn and digital marketplaces for services like Uber, have potential to increase global GDP by 2.7 trillion U.S. dollars and benefit up to 540 million people by 2025.

However, some analysts have pointed out that there are also downsides to the 'gig economy'.

"In the gig economy, workers on these platforms lack some conditions, including social insurance, like employment insurance. There are concerns over labor safety."

Although some experts say the low quality of employment may lead to slower wage rises, many say the change is inevitable and that individuals and companies should prepare for the gig economy.
Ko Roon-hee, Arirang News.
Reporter : krh@arirang.com
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