Rising living costs, inflation, expensive grocery prices, student loans, and a competitive job market have led to an increased need for alternative income streams. That’s why millennials are turning to secondary jobs, commonly known as “side hustles,” to supplement their primary incomes and make ends meet.
In a survey of more than 1,100 full-time working Americans, 9 in 10 (93%) currently work a side hustle. Broken down by generation, Gen X and Millennials are primarily working side hustles. In fact, more than half (52%) of working Millennials say they also work a side hustle.
On average, Americans are banking $777 a month from that hustle. Even if they aren’t working one of the side hustles that pay weekly, the additional monthly income can be helpful. More than a quarter just have one side hustle, 43% are working two, and about 3 in 10 have 3 or more side hustles. For more than half of respondents, taking surveys, such as this one, is their primary side hustle.
More than half (55%) of Americans working a side hustle do so during their full-time job’s working hours. Among them, 1 in 10 have been caught by a coworker or manager working their side hustle.
1 in 5 plan to take their side hustle and turn it into their full-time job, and 32% completely hide their side hustle from their full-time jobs.
Of the Americans who work from home full-time, 86% say their work-from-home jobs allow them to work their side hustle, where an office job would not. 1 in 6 say recent return-to-office mandates hinder their ability to work their side hustles, and 41% say they would quit their full-time job if forced to return to an office.
Side jobs gained in popularity in the U.S. due to wage stagnation and low wage growth that has not kept up with the rise in cost of living, with nearly a third of people with side jobs requiring them to pay expenses. Nearly half of all Americans report having a side job, including 43% of full-time workers. The most common reason workers take on side jobs is to obtain additional disposable income. In the United Kingdom, 60 percent of students and graduates reported having a side job, and 43 percent required it to pay rent expenses.
Millennials are the most likely to have a side job, usually to have a financial “safety net”, leading to them being considered the “side hustle generation”. However, they are also common as a means to pay off student loans, as well as to leverage one’s creativity in ways that would normally not be feasible in the typical workplace.
When a person’s primary job only provides income so that they may pursue their preferred side job, it is typically known as a “day job”.
The many examples of side hustles include things that can be done full-time, part-time, or freelance at the same time as having a day job, some can include; copywriting, Amazon FBA, buy-low and sell-high through e-commerce, affiliate marketing, swing trading, social media marketing agency, day trading, investment in stocks, dropshipping, trade cryptocurrency, decentralized finance, options trading, NFTs, tutoring or coaching, and business management.