UPWK - Upwork Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
6.45
+0.10 (+1.57%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
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Previous Close6.35
Open6.41
Bid4.95 x 800
Ask6.95 x 1300
Day's Range6.31 - 6.82
52 Week Range5.14 - 20.90
Volume1,129,919
Avg. Volume1,990,685
Market Cap734.861M
Beta (5Y Monthly)N/A
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-0.15
Earnings DateFeb 25, 2020
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target Est11.13
  • Analysts Suggest Picking Up These 2 Falling Knives
    GuruFocus.com

    Analysts Suggest Picking Up These 2 Falling Knives

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  • Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ:UPWK): Are Analysts Optimistic?
    Simply Wall St.

    Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ:UPWK): Are Analysts Optimistic?

    Upwork Inc.'s (NASDAQ:UPWK): Upwork Inc. operates an online marketplace that enables businesses (clients) to find and...

  • Upwork (UPWK) Reports Q4 Loss, Tops Revenue Estimates
    Zacks

    Upwork (UPWK) Reports Q4 Loss, Tops Revenue Estimates

    Upwork (UPWK) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 16.67% and 1.08%, respectively, for the quarter ended December 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

  • GlobeNewswire

    Upwork Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Financial Results

    Full Year 2019 ASC 606 Revenue of $300.6 Million Full Year 2019 ASC 605 Revenue of $302.6 Million Increased 19% Year-Over-Year SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 26, 2020 -- Upwork.

  • Analysts Estimate Upwork (UPWK) to Report a Decline in Earnings: What to Look Out for
    Zacks

    Analysts Estimate Upwork (UPWK) to Report a Decline in Earnings: What to Look Out for

    Upwork (UPWK) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.

  • These 4 Beaten-Down Stocks Are Must-Haves on Your Watch List
    GuruFocus.com

    These 4 Beaten-Down Stocks Are Must-Haves on Your Watch List

    As the gig economy is expected to double in value over the next several years, it is important for investors to keep an eye on some promising investment opportunities within this space Continue reading...

  • GlobeNewswire

    Upwork To Report Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Financial Results On February 26, 2020

    Upwork Inc. (UPWK), the largest online talent solution, today announced that it will release financial results and a letter to stockholders for the fourth quarter and full year 2019 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 after market close. After market close, Upwork will publish a press release with financial results, and a link to a stockholder letter providing additional commentary. A live webcast of the call will be available on the Upwork Investor Relations website at https://investors.upwork.com.

  • Analysts: These 3 Buy-Rated Stocks Could Be Big Winners in 2020
    TipRanks

    Analysts: These 3 Buy-Rated Stocks Could Be Big Winners in 2020

    2020 has only just begun, but it already has some big events set in the calendar. The Olympic games will take place in the summer, with the U.S. presidential election to follow. Bearing this in mind, investors are on the hunt for the stocks with the potential to soar skywards in the coming year.No one can tell what the new year has in store, but one simple fact will always remain; investors are after plentiful returns. So, how can we narrow the search down as much as possible to ensure investing success? Using TipRanks’ Stock Screener, we were able to zero in on three tickers flagged by the analysts as ready for takeoff. Additionally, all three currently have a Strong Buy consensus rating from the Street. Here’s the lowdown.Zix Corporation (ZIXI)Let’s kick things off with a look at Zix. The SaaS small-cap provides email encryption and cloud-based security solutions to clients mostly in compliance related fields, such as government, healthcare insurance, and financial regulation. Early last year, Zix made a significant acquisition with the purchase of AppRiver, a provider of cloud-based cybersecurity and productivity services, for $275 million. AppRiver’s focus on the SMB market compliments Zix’s focus on enterprise, and the purchase provides an opportunity for cross and up-selling. It also increases Zix’s TAM (total addressable market), which is estimated to reach $8 billion over the next five years. AppRiver is expected to be a key contributor to revenue growth, and had over 8,000 trials in the last quarter, bringing the year’s total to 27,000. The figure represents a 36% year-over-year increase and comes with an impressive 90% conversion rate.Dougherty’s Catharine Trebnick argues that Zix trades at “a discount to security peers.” The 4-star analyst believes the recent dip presents an opportunity, noting, “We are aggressive buyers of Zix following the pullback, which we believe does not reflect the company’s fundamentals or opportunity… We view the shares are undervalued given AppRiver contribution is still in early days, and we are expecting better attach rates with core Zix products.”Accordingly, then, Trebnick reiterated a Buy rating on Zix, along with a price target of $14. This implies upside potential of a handsome 105%. (To watch Trebnick’s track record, click here)A fellow fan of Zix is Wedbush’s Daniel Ives, who noted, “We loudly applaud Zix’s aggressive move to beef up its position in the cloud-based email security market further around encryption as it is clear enterprises across the board are making the shift to a cloud based environment.”Ives initiated coverage of Zix with an Outperform rating and a price target of $10. (To watch Ives’ track record, click here)Zix has two other analysts currently keeping an eye on its prospects and both rate the stock a Buy. As a result, the cyber security expert has a Strong Buy consensus rating. The average price target is $10.33 and provides a possible 51% gain over the coming months. (See Zix price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)Upwork Inc (UPWK)One of the trends of the outgoing decade was the rise of the gig economy; the ability to hire anyone, anywhere for short-term projects, providing both employers and freelancers a new way of outsourcing and finding work.Upwork is essentially an online job marketplace and lets businesses in need of a service search Upwork’s database of freelancers, and vice versa, helps freelancers such as graphic designers, writers, and video editors find suitable projects. The company went public in October 2018 and like some other recent disruptor IPO’s had a difficult 2019, losing more than 40% of its share price over the year. Upwork, though, is the biggest company of its kind, and with less long-term job certainty and the continued growth of the global gig economy, it is set to benefit from the new paradigm.The well positioned company has BTIG’s Marvin Fong taking note. The analyst said, “We believe Upwork's potential is underappreciated as it is poised to reap future benefits from strategies being implemented today. Specifically, we believe direct sales force investment, new membership plans, hyperlocal marketplaces, specialized profiles and other initiatives will yield GSV growth and/or higher monetization. While the product suite likely needs refinement, we believe the large TAM and secular tailwinds will enable Upwork to grow revenue in excess of 15% over the next 5 years.”Fong, therefore, reiterated his Buy rating on Upwork. The analyst’s price target is $20 and indicates upside potential of 98%. (To watch Fong’s track record, click here)What does the Street think is in store for the gig economy leader in 2020? 3 Buys and 3 Holds coalesce to a Moderate Buy consensus rating. The average price target comes in at $17 and implies potential gains of 68%. (See Upwork stock analysis on TipRanks)Rubicon Project (RUBI)Online advertising tech company Rubicon Project was one of 2019’s star performers. The Los Angeles based firm starts 2020 following a 119% addition to its share price over the previous year.So, what’s all the noise about, then? Rubicon’s goal is to be the “NASDAQ of Digital Advertising.” The company’s automated advertising platform is used by online publishers to facilitate the automated buying and selling of advertising.Rubicon made headlines recently after it teamed up with fellow digital-advertising industry leader, Telaria, to form the world's largest independent sell-side advertising platform. The merger will significantly strengthen the new company’s financial profile on all fronts and leaves it debt free with $150 million of cash in the coffers. Rubicon shareholders stand to own 52.9% of the combined company’s fully diluted shares.Stephen’s Kyle Evans’ advice to investors is to snap up shares. The analyst expounded, “RUBI took low-value ad units out of its system in 3Q19, improving the platform and revenue quality, and we believe the two smaller headwinds the Company alluded to in the quarter (app-ads.tx and sellers.json) are temporary in nature. In short, we didn’t hear anything from RUBI that changes our view that it will continue to benefit from supply path optimization as the largest, independent SSP in the digital ad ecosystem. We believe RUBI’s multiple is likely to benefit from gravitational pull from more expensive CTV and ad tech names, and that its Demand Manager product is a likely catalyst in 2020.”The good news has Evans reiterating an Overweight rating on Rubicon and $12 price target. Should the target be met, investors could be lining their pockets with a 28% gain over the coming 12 months. (To watch Evans’ track record, click here)There is not much action from the Street regarding the digital ad leader right now. What action there is, though, is positive. 2 fellow analysts rate RUBI a Buy and, therefore, it has Strong Buy status. The average price target matches that of the Stephens’ analyst and comes in at $12. (See RUBI stock analysis on TipRanks)

  • If You Had Bought Upwork (NASDAQ:UPWK) Stock A Year Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 46% Loss, Today
    Simply Wall St.

    If You Had Bought Upwork (NASDAQ:UPWK) Stock A Year Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 46% Loss, Today

    It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. Active investors aim to buy stocks that vastly...

  • Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On Upwork Inc. (UPWK)
    Insider Monkey

    Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On Upwork Inc. (UPWK)

    Hedge funds are not perfect. They have their bad picks just like everyone else. Facebook, a stock hedge funds have loved dearly, lost nearly 40% of its value at one point in 2018. Although hedge funds are not perfect, their consensus picks do deliver solid returns, however. Our data show the top 20 S&P 500 […]

  • How to build a diverse board
    TechCrunch

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  • 3 “Strong Buy” Stocks That Are 30% Off — Cyber Monday’s Deals
    TipRanks

    3 “Strong Buy” Stocks That Are 30% Off — Cyber Monday’s Deals

    Are you ready for some discounts? They aren’t just limited to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday sales – you can find great deals in the stock markets, too. Investors are pounding the Wall Street pavement, hunting for the names with price tags that represent attractive entry points.Having said that, given the market’s bang-up performance in 2019, tracking down these highly sought-after stocks isn’t always a jolly task. So how are investors supposed to zero in on the stock market deals of the holiday season? We suggest turning to TipRanks. Using the TipRanks' Stock Screener, we’ve searched the markets for Buy-rated stocks at discounted prices. These are companies with underlying strength that have nevertheless seen sharp drops in share price in the second half of this year. Wall Street’s top analysts still have faith in them, however, and these stocks combine bargain prices with strong upside potential.AMC Entertainment (AMC)We’ll start with something big, the world’s largest movie theater company. AMC has over 8,000 screens in the US, spread across 661 theaters, and another 2,200 screens in 244 theaters in Europe. Ticket sales are a big draw, and AMC saw nearly $5.5 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year. In an effort to keep up attendance, the company is exploring several unusual ideas, branching into the home theater on-demand streaming segment and using its big screens for public live showing of NFL broadcasts.AMC is pursuing more traditional routes of expansion, too, and acquiring several smaller movie theater companies over the past half-decade. All of this expansion comes with a price, however. Acquisitions have cost upwards of $3.4 billion, and in the first half of this year, AMC’s net cash position fell by 48%, leaving the company with just $154 million on hand. Management can’t look for rescue from the free cash flow, either, as that key metric has fallen in the past year from $187 million to $50 million.With all of that in the fiscal background, it wouldn’t look like a good time for turnover in management. But the company is facing churn there, too, as CFO Craig Ramsey will be retiring early next year. His replacement, Asbury Automotive’s Sean Goodman, was announced in October.In the past year, AMC has been alternating profitable and net-loss quarters, and this time around was due for a loss. The showed net EPS of minus 53 cents, even though the $1.32 billion revenue figure beat the year-over-year number by 8%. The company’s high rate of capital expenditure has impacted the bottom line.Year-to-date, AMC shares are down about 30%, bringing the share price to just $8.18. Wall Street’s analysts see this as low, and for the most part believe that this stock will return to gains in the coming year.Barrington’s James Goss, a 5-star analyst, writes, “We are continuing a 2019‐based price target of $16… The acquisitions of Carmike, Odeon and Nordic transformed AMC into the world’s largest theatrical exhibitor with a broad domestic mix of properties and a restored international presence. AMC maintains a leadership position in its industry. AMC management continues its plans to create returns on its expanded footprint...”Goss’s $16 price target puts an impressive 95% upside behind his Buy rating. (To watch Goss’s track record, click here)Writing from Benchmark, analyst Mike Hickey sees potential short-term gains in store for the company, “AMC delivered better than consensus F3Q19 sales and adjusted EBITDA performance, and we expect continued F4Q19 growth from a compelling film slate. We believe continued execution should unwind the material relative valuation destruction we have witness over the last 2-years.”Hickey puts a Buy rating on AMC, and backs it with a $17 price target and a 108% upside potential. (To watch Hickey’s track record, click here.)AMC’s most recent reviews are all Buys, and the company has a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 7 Buys and just 2 Holds. Shares are priced at $8.18, and the $14.56 average price target implies an upside of 78%. For now, it would seem that AMC offers plenty of room for growth. (See AMC stock analysis on TipRanks)Upwork (UPWK)There’s been a lot of talk in the last decade about the ‘gig economy,’ the availability of short-term and project-based digital work, making it possible for freelancers to shop online for jobs and negotiate prices. Upwork is one of the many companies that has emerged to offer web-based networks for freelancers and businesses to connect. The company has over 12 million freelancers registered, along with 5 million business clients. It went public in October, 2018.Upwork’s business model is based on connecting freelance professionals with businesses in need of their skills. Businesses are charged a fee, while the freelancers are not. The site allows business clients to conduct video interviews with freelancers, for betting purposes, and both businesses and freelancers can search the database to find appropriate connections. Upwork filters its system for US or UK based jobs.Like many tech-based companies, Upwork is currently operating at a net loss – although that loss is modest, and slowly decreasing. In Q3, the EPS loss came in at 3 cents per share, compared to the year-ago quarter’s 4 cents. Company revenues of $78.8 million clobbered the year-ago figure of $64.1 million, growing by 23% over the period. Still, there is a limit to investor patience with net-loss companies, and UPWK stock is down nearly 35% in 2019.Brent Thill, 5-star analyst from Jefferies, and ranked 25 overall by TipRanks, sees UPWK as a stock with plenty of potential and competitive advantages. He wrote, “Upwork is disrupting the staffing industry with an AI/ML-enhanced B2B marketplace that significantly speeds up the hiring process and automates the entire lifecycle of a freelancer project. Upwork enjoys a tailwind from secular trends toward remote work enabled by the internet. We believe Upwork has built a comprehensive platform in the last 20 years with deep functionality that solves many of the issues encountered by clients and freelancers. This has created a competitive moat that is hard to cross.”Thill’s $20 price target implies a strong 70% upside to Upwork, which confirms his bullish Buy rating. (To watch Thill’s track record, click here)It looks like other analysts aren’t ready to tap out either. Out of 5 ratings published in the last three months, four are bullish and one is neutral. On top of this, UPWK's $19.60 average price target lends itself to 68% upside from the current share price. (See Upwork stock analysis on TipRanks)US Cellular Corporation (USM)US Cellular is a regional mobile carrier, with more than 5 million customers across 23 states. It’s headquartered in Chicago, the third-largest city in the nation and the largest in the Midwest region. The company brings in over $4 billion in annual revenues.Like the other stocks on this list, USM is down in 2019, showing a loss of 35% for the calendar year. This comes after strong gains in 2018, when the share price appreciated 36%. In the recent Q3 2019 report, USM showed a year-over-year top line gain to $1.031 billion, beating Q3 2018 by almost $20 million. Earnings were down, however, the company posted a net loss of 27 cents per share.US Cellular puts the losses partly on declines in subscribed customers, but also on uncertainty regarding the upcoming T-Mobile/Spring merger. That event will combine the third and fourth largest US mobile carriers – and note that US Cellular is currently in fifth place. A merged T-Mobile and Sprint will increase the size of the competition, and investors are showing caution towards USM stock in the runup.That caution, however, has resulted in a stock priced at hefty discount. 5-star analyst Philip Cusick, of JPMorgan, wrote recently, “We find USM shares undervalued at the current level and believe that further downside risk from this point is limited and is offset by potential upside from its valuable assets, which include 5% of Verizon’s L.A. business, spectrum and tower holdings… We upgrade USM to Overweight…”To back up his upgraded rating on the stock, Cusick puts a $45 price target, suggesting a 32% upside potential. (To watch Cusick’s track record, click here)USM has only three recent analyst reviews, but all are on the Buy-side, making this stock’s Strong Buy consensus rating unanimous. With Shares trading for $33.91, the average stock-price forecast of $52.33 implies room on the upside for 54% growth. (See US Cellular stock analysis on TipRanks)

  • Upwork (UPWK) Reports Q3 Loss, Tops Revenue Estimates
    Zacks

    Upwork (UPWK) Reports Q3 Loss, Tops Revenue Estimates

    Upwork (UPWK) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 40.00% and 1.43%, respectively, for the quarter ended September 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

  • GlobeNewswire

    Upwork Reports Third Quarter 2019 Financial Results

    Revenue grew 23% year-over-year to $78.8 millionMarketplace revenue grew 25% year-over-year to $70.7 millionCore clients grew 19% year-over-year to approximately 120,500Client.

  • How Many Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ:UPWK) Shares Have Insiders Sold, In The Last Year?
    Simply Wall St.

    How Many Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ:UPWK) Shares Have Insiders Sold, In The Last Year?

    It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. The flip side of that is that...

  • Earnings Preview: Upwork (UPWK) Q3 Earnings Expected to Decline
    Zacks

    Earnings Preview: Upwork (UPWK) Q3 Earnings Expected to Decline

    Upwork (UPWK) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.

  • GlobeNewswire

    Upwork To Report Third Quarter 2019 Financial Results On November 6, 2019

    Upwork Inc. (UPWK), the largest freelancing website, today announced that it will release financial results and a letter to stockholders for the third quarter 2019 on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 after market close. After market close, Upwork will publish a press release with financial results, and a link to a stockholder letter providing additional commentary. A live webcast of the call will be available on the Upwork Investor Relations website at https://investors.upwork.com.

  • Why the Gig Economy Doesn’t Work
    InvestorPlace

    Why the Gig Economy Doesn’t Work

    2019 has been a big year for tech IPOs, but it's been a huge year for gig economy IPOs. Uber (NYSE:UBER), Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT), RealReal (NASDAQ:REAL) and Fiverr (NYSE:FVRR) have already gone public and are companies capitalizing on -- or helping to shape the gig economy. Still upcoming, we have Airbnb and Postmates. And even the embroiled WeWork is in some way reliant on the rise of a more transient, less traditional workforce.Source: Shutterstock So what does this all mean? It's hard to say because very few people can agree on what the "gig economy" or "gig work" means.Does it mean anyone who works for an app? Does that include people who are freelancers finding work through platforms like Fiverr and Upwork (NASDAQ:UPWK)? What about contractors who work for a single company but are not officially employees?InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Who Is a Gig Worker?The Federal Reserve broadly says that "gig work covers personal service activities, such as child care, house cleaning, or ride-sharing, as well as goods-related activities, such as selling goods online or renting out property." This definition of gig work includes both online and offline activities, underscoring the fact that most of these activities predate the internet.By this very wide definition, the Fed found that 3 in 10 adults engaged in at least one gig activity in the month before the 2018 survey. However, this number goes as high as 37% for people ages 18-29 and as low as 21% for people over 60. 18% of gig workers said that it was their primary income. * 10 Super Boring Stocks to Buy With Super Safe Returns The Fed also found that gig workers are more likely to be financially fragile. Of people who use gig work as their primary source of income, 58% are considered financially fragile. That is, they would have difficulty handling an unexpected $400 expense or are using alternative financial services. 44% of those using gig work to supplement their income were financially fragile.The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which puts out the jobs report that many use to measure the health of the U.S. economy has no formal definition of a gig worker or way of tracking them. This is because the BLS tracks primary work only. So people who work a number of different gigs or who need gig work to supplement their income are excluded. The closest it has is the Contingent Worker Supplement. Contingent workers are workers who do not expect their jobs to last longer than a year. The survey, last put out in May 2017, also identified workers with "alternative work arrangements."It found that:"In May 2017, there were 10.6 million independent contractors (6.9 percent of total employment), 2.6 million on-call workers (1.7 percent of total employment), 1.4 million temporary help agency workers (0.9 percent of total employment), and 933,000 workers provided by contract firms (0.6 percent of total employment)."It's unclear how these numbers have changed over time. Prior to 2017, the Contingent Worker Supplement had not been released since 2005. Good thing there was nothing that fundamentally disrupted U.S. employment between 2005 and 2017, right? But How Many Gig Workers Are There, Really?But in 2017, for the first time, the BLS asked 4 questions about "electronically-mediated employment," or "short jobs or tasks that workers find through mobile apps that both connect them with customers and arrange payment for the tasks."The survey found that there 1.6 million electronically mediated workers in the U.S., accounting for 1% of total employment. The BLS attempted to distinguish whether these jobs were a person's main job, second job or additional work for pay. Unfortunately, the BLS believes there were errors in interpretation of this question. As such, it does not recommend using this data.A study conducted by the Freelancers Union and Upwork concluded that 57 million Americans freelance, but only 6%-7% of those surveyed described themselves as "gig workers."So what is the gig economy?Well, no one has decided yet. And while some companies may spin that as new and exciting, it makes it hard to track these workers. It is even harder to see if they're being exploited. It's also much harder to know if gig work is a stable source of labor that will work going forward.In 2017, McKinsey estimated that 68 million workers were currently in the gig economy, and that 20 million were only doing it because they couldn't find better pay or a better job elsewhere.But it's fine, right? Unemployment has gone down since 2017 and wages have gone up. But remember, that's according to the BLS, the department that doesn't know how to define gig workers or determine how many people were doing electronically mediated work as a primary job.The truth is we don't know how large this group of workers is, or if they will be a reliable work force -- or customer -- for all of these gig-economy dependent companies going forward. The Face of the Gig EconomyFor an example of the sustainability of the gig economy, let's look at the face of it: Uber drivers. Since its IPO, Uber has hit a number of speed bumps. Two of these bumps are relevant to this discussion:* California Assembly Bill 5* ProfitabilityFirst is California Assembly Bill 5. This bill makes it harder for companies like Uber (and Lyft and others) to continue to classify their drivers as contractors instead of employees. This means drivers would need to earn minimum wage and receive benefits. Employers also have to pay taxes on employees that they don't need to pay for contractors.Both Uber and Lyft plan to fight this law, with Uber claiming that "drivers aren't core to its business." This argument obviously makes no sense. Being able to open Uber and request a ride doesn't exactly work if no one is ever going to come pick you up. That doesn't mean Uber can't win this legal battle, but it's unlikely that this is the last attempt to regulate the gig economy. Can Uber Turn a Profit?All this leads into the next question. How will Uber ever turn a profit?Last quarter, Uber took in gross bookings of $15.8 billion, but most of that money went directly to drivers, and Uber's revenues were only $3.2 billion. That's about 20%.Overall, the company lost $5.2 billion dollars in the second quarter. The company needs to be keeping more of its gross bookings, but the California bill, and the ones sure to follow, will mandate it keeps less. Uber is not profitable with it's workers classified as contractors, so how would it be profitable otherwise?Uber is trying to branch out with the recent release of Uber Works, an app dedicated to matching temporary workers with shifts. It has partnered with staffing agencies to do this, and the temps would be employees of the staffing agency -- not Uber. This is a transparent attempt to sidestep the issues brought up in AB 5.This move also attempts to frame Uber as the technology "that connects people to work opportunities, rather than carrying the burden of being an employer."Will this work? That's unclear. But it's unlikely to work well enough to make up for a $5-billion-a-quarter loss while the company also sidesteps further legislation.But the other huge risk for the gig economy is not profitability, it's that workers are unlikely to stay in it for longer than they can help it. The Cost of Being a Gig WorkerNow that we've talked about how the gig economy might not continue to work for companies, let's look at how it's already failing employees.Back in 2014, Uber stated in a blog post that the median annual income for an UberX driver in New York City is $90,766. In response, Slate writer Alison Griswold attempted to find one person making that much money as an Uber driver. She couldn't. (Note: I have not been able to locate the original blog post, but other contemporaneous reporting verifies Uber made the same claim).If $90,000 is the median, that means Uber claimed 50% of its drivers in New York City made more than $90,000 a year.A salary of $90,766 works out to about $43.63 an hour if a driver is working 40 hours a week. In an also deleted tweet, Uber claimed around the same time New York City drivers made about $25 an hour after taxes and fees.A driver would have to commit to a 70-hour week to hit the yearly median that Uber originally published. Minimum WageOne driver interviewed for the Slate article made about $12 an hour after paying for gas, car cleanings, insurance, parking and maintenance costs. For someone employed by a company as a driver, all of these expenses would be covered.The minimum wage for employers with more than 11 employees in New York City is currently $15 an hour.A survey conducted by Ridester showed that in 2018, New York City Uber drivers were making about $20.92 an hour before expenses. But the person interviewed for the Slate article was making $21 an hour before fees brought it down to $12. That was five years ago. Costs have only increased since then. In the Ridester's worst-rated city -- Akron, Ohio -- drivers are only averaging $4.94 an hour before expenses.Yes, expenses are lower in Akron than New York, but $4.94 is well below federal minimum wag. Can these drivers break even?Low pay isn't just a problem for those who receive it. Many currently believe the world economy is currently being held up by the American consumer, but what happens if the American consumer has less and less to spend?How can Lyft and Uber rely on having a consistent workforce when the pay is so abysmal? Many workers will leave as soon as they find something better. And if drivers aren't breaking even, they're not going to even bother waiting for something better. They're just going to jump ship. The Human Cost of the Gig EconomyBut low pay isn't the only cost of being a gig worker.Gig workers are far less likely to have health insurance. While about 85% of Americans have some form of health insurance, only 67% of temporary workers and 75% of independent contractors do. And when people are uninsured, it hurts the economy and raises prices for people with insurance.Most people access retirement plans through their employers. This means gig economy workers have bleak prospects when it comes to saving for the future. And when people can't take care of themselves in retirement, that weighs on the overall economy as well.But for some gig economy workers, especially drivers, health insurance and retirement plans are the furthest thing from their mind. They're focused on keeping a roof on their head or, in some cases, just surviving.Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, (which also represents Uber and Lyft drivers) told Fast Company: "We're talking about massive bankruptcies, foreclosures, evictions. We've had Uber and Lyft members … end up in homeless shelters for six months at a time, to drivers talking about food scarcity, to people living in their cars and sleeping at the airports overnight. We saw such high levels of depression and despair, and eventually we started to see the suicides."Since 2018, nine ride-hailing and cab drivers have taken their own lives in New York alone. All communications from the Taxi Workers' unions to its members now include the suicide hotline. The Bottom Line on the Gig EconomyAccording to Edison Research, 45% of gig workers say they feel stuck in their current financial situation. They report higher levels of financial instability than their traditionally employed counterparts.African-American and Hispanic workers are more likely to be relying on the gig economy for their primary income.The gig economy isn't profitable for companies. But moreover, the harm that it does to its workers is incalculable -- literally, since the government can't seem to count these workers.And it's giving us an incomplete picture of the economy.158 million people were employed as of the September jobs report. Almost 6 million were unemployed (and looking for work) making for a very low rate of 3.5%. Just over 1 million workers were part-time because could only find part-time work but wanted full-time work. On their own, those are great numbers.But what about the 20 million people mentioned earlier? The ones who were in the gig economy only because they had to be? That group is almost four times as large as the total unemployed. It is 20 times larger than the jobs report underemployed number. And the BLS is not consistently tracking them. So they won't be in the jobs report, and we won't know how well the economy is really doing.But the real losers are the workers, who are being exploited by promises of being their own boss and setting their own hours.As of this writing, Regina Borsellino held no positions in the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Super Boring Stocks to Buy With Super Safe Returns * 10 Winning Stocks to Buy and Stick With for the Long Haul * Don't Give Up on These 4 Cannabis Stocks The post Why the Gig Economy Doesn't Work appeared first on InvestorPlace.