As the "gig economy" continues to grow, contract-based work has become more popular than ever. Companies like Uber, Lyft, and even Amazon now rely much more heavily on freelancers than they ever have before -- and it isn't hard to see why.
Typically, when it comes to freelancers, a company need not shell out money for health insurance, vacation time, or other benefits that full-time employees usually have; even if said contract workers are technically working full-time hours. This makes them a relatively cheap, disposable, and always-available workforce (many full-time workers perform freelance jobs on the side).
"...the search giant employed 121,000 temporary or contract-based workers throughout its global operations as of March 2019."
Interestingly, it isn't just the companies listed above that are growing their freelance worker numbers substantially -- other tech companies, Google in particular, are following suit. Indeed, according to a report from the New York Times, the search giant employed 121,000 temporary or contract-based workers throughout its global operations as of March 2019. By contrast, their fully-vested employee numbers sat at 102,000.
As stated before, the reasons for this disparity are many and compelling. Cutting costs wherever possible seems to be the norm for most big corporations these days, and freelance work is just one of the many ways a tech giant like Google can accomplish that.