PALM BEACH, Florida, April 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The GIG Economy is positioned to grow during the current world health crisis. GIG workers and their delivery services can remove much of the burden of employee management from restaurants and other service industries. Millions of Americans are staying home to minimize the spread of COVID-19. As a result, gig workers have become a crucial lifeline delivering food and other supplies to people living in self isolation. GIG workers who've had less traffic from other platforms are turning to delivery services for work. And people who've recently lost their jobs or had their working hours reduced due to the pandemic are turning to gig work for income. An article on CNBC said that: "Nationwide closures have moved some people to take up gig work for the first time... It's an opportunity to earn extra money while home… The way a company handles their gig workforce during the pandemic could have a major impact on the future of the gig economy at large, says Lindsey Cameron, professor of management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Many companies including Lyft, Uber, DoorDash and Instacart have announced emergency assistance policies for independent contractors. The article continued: "I see this as a time when both sides, gig workers and platforms, are able to build public goodwill," Cameron says. "So many folks are scared to leave their homes, and people in delivery services are taking on extra risks. Consumers are even more so becoming their allies." Active companies in the markets this week include ShiftPixy, Inc. (NASDAQ: PIXY), Grubhub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB), Slack Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: WORK), Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: UBER), Lyft, Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT).
There's reason to believe the surge in demand for these types of workers — especially in manufacturing, transportation and shipping — is here to stay for the foreseeable future. According to online job marketplace ZipRecruiter, openings for transportation and storage jobs posted to the site increased by 36% between the first and second weeks of the month. Food delivery positions alone jumped by 78%. As a result of more people shopping online for home delivery, "We're seeing companies like Amazon, Grubhub, UberEats and DoorDash report a dramatic increase in demand and need to bring on additional capacity of workers," says ZipRecruiter labor economist Julia Pollak. "We're going to see a massive surge in that workforce in the coming months," Pollak says. She also suggests the pandemic may play a lasting role in the demand for this type of work much further down the line.
ShiftPixy, Inc. (NASDAQ: PIXY) BREAKING NEWS: ShiftPixy Helping Restaurants Build Digital Life Boats with Paycheck Protection Program - Launches initiative to help restaurants repurpose staff for delivery during COVID-19 - ShiftPixy, a California-based gig engagement platform provider, today announced the company's initiative to catalyze digital infrastructure reinforcement and human capital management repurposing for multi-unit restaurant operators during the COVID-19 pandemic by leveraging the new Paycheck Protection Program small business loans. As some of the hardest hit businesses by the global pandemic, restaurants across the country have been forced to furlough or lay off most, if not all, of their employees in addition to closing their dining rooms. Further, many restaurants lacked the proper delivery infrastructure to adapt to the current environment. The rollout of the Paycheck Protection Program, offering two-year, forgivable loans, has created a unique opportunity – a life boat of sorts – for restaurants to invest in repurposing their staff to better serve delivery demand, which ShiftPixy is committed to immediately assist in implementing.
"Despite these difficult, unprecedented times, the PPP loan program offers a glimmer of hope for restaurants as these funds can offer operators the chance to rebuild their business even while their dining rooms are closed, by repurposing their dining staff as delivery drivers," said Scott Absher, CEO and Co-founder of ShiftPixy. "At ShiftPixy, we understand the digital demands of such a drastic pivot and are committed to helping restaurants leverage their greatest asset – their staff – in a new way without having to eat into their revenues by paying third-party delivery commissions."
While third-party delivery companies face uncertainty on both employee designation and increased demand, ShiftPixy is working with restaurants across the country to deploy their current staff as delivery drivers. In addition to avoiding unnecessary commissions, restaurants can maintain better brand control and ensure a better customer experience by repurposing staff for native delivery. "Tough times don't last, tough people do, and we're helping restaurants showcase that," Absher concluded.
Read this and more news for ShiftPixy at:
Other recent developments in the markets this week include:
Grubhub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB) recently announced its first quarter 2020 earnings results. The company also today provided a brief business update due to the extraordinary circumstances stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first quarter of 2020, we expect our revenue and adjusted EBITDA to be slightly above the midpoints of the guidance we issued on February 5, 2020. While the business was trending at or above the high end of our guidance range for the first 10 weeks of the quarter, like most businesses, we experienced a swift change in customer behavior in the middle of March when the pandemic took hold across the country.
Initially, we observed a decrease in orders across our entire business as the news upended typical routines and there was considerable uncertainty about what day-to-day life would be like. In particular, our corporate business, which accounted for a mid-single digit percentage of our orders in the fourth quarter, was dramatically impacted in mid-March as virtually all of our corporate clients shifted to work-from-home models.
Slack Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: WORK) - Between February 1 and March 25, 2020, Slack added 9,000 new paid customers—an 80% increase over the full quarterly total for the preceding two quarters. And not only are more people using Slack; they're using Slack more. As our co-founder and CEO, Stewart Butterfield, outlined in a recent series of tweets, during that same period, the number of messages sent per user per day increased by an average of 20% globally.
In the U.S., we've seen these global trends continue. The San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and New York were among the first places in the nation to adopt shelter-in-place measures. As our customers in these regions shifted to remote work, the increased depth of engagement and usage shows how Slack has become a central part of their remote workday.
Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: UBER) last week began shipping disinfectant sprays to some drivers. And beginning this week, we are distributing millions of ear-loop face masks to active drivers and delivery people around the world.
Uber shipped its first order of masks to drivers in New York City, and we are receiving a shipment of nearly half a million more which we will immediately send to drivers in the hardest hit US cities. The Company will also be urging riders to wear face coverings, in line with the Centers for Disease Control's latest guidance.
Lyft, Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT) Since 2016, Lyft has worked with healthcare organizations across the country to help communities in need — including low-income individuals, the elderly, and people with disabilities — travel to health services, such as dialysis treatment, chemotherapy, and prenatal care. This work is critically important to the health and well-being of individuals day in and day out.
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, we're using the expertise of Lyft's healthcare team to do more to serve urgent public health needs, including helping more patients access life-sustaining medical care, healthcare workers access reliable rides, and hospitals access critical medical supplies.
We recently outlined Lyft's initial efforts to support drivers and connect people with essential services and goods. Today, we're sharing an update on the steps we're taking to address public health needs during the COVID-19 crisis.
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