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Wyoming Business Tips for July 29-Aug. 4 « Back to Search Results

A weekly look at issues facing Wyoming business owners and entrepreneurs from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Cindy Unger, business adviser, Wyoming SBDC Network

In a gig economy, companies hire independent contractors and freelancers -- as opposed to full-time employees -- to complete temporary, flexible jobs. The term “gig economy” became popular during the 2008-09 financial crisis, when many who suddenly faced unemployment or underemployment picked up temporary jobs in order to cobble together an income.

As a result, current concepts of employment have changed. According to a 2018 survey of 6,000 U.S. workers done by Upwork, there are 56.7 million freelancers in the United States, representing one in three U.S. workers, and numbers are increasing.

There are both positive and negative aspects to the gig economy for both workers and employers. For example, freelancers tend to prioritize lifestyle over earnings. For some gig workers, however, the volume and time deadlines for various gigs can easily disrupt their work/life balance. Flexibility may mean that workers have to be available any time a gig comes up and must always be hunting for the next job.

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Fast Fact Image

Upton is located 70 miles east of thirteen open pit coal mines, including the Thunder Basin Coal Mine, the nation's largest. You can arrange to have guided tours to learn more about this critical industry in northeast Wyoming. Upton and Newcastle are on the railroad right-of-way that ships most of the coal to midwestern and eastern markets. There is an average of 75 Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad trains that pass through Weston County daily. This is a train watchers heaven!