44 Million People — Not Just Millennials — Have a Side Job

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The economy has created the side hustle — earning extra money apart from main source of income — and apparently more than 44 million American adults have one, according to a new report from personal finance website Bankrate.com.

Among those in this group of side-hustlers, 28% of younger millennials — ages 18 to 26 — are the most likely age group to have a side hustle, such as working as an Uber or Lyft driver or connecting with online marketplaces, such as TaskRabbit, which match freelance labor with local demand.

Eighty-six percent of all side-hustlers do it at least monthly, and 36% of them earn more than an additional $500 a month.

Younger baby boomers (53 to 62), many of whom lost their jobs during the recession and are scrambling to make up the income difference as retirement nears, are the most likely age group to earn at least an extra $1,000 a month.

In regard to the younger millennials with a side hustle, 96% of them say they do it at least monthly. Millennials overall (18 to 36) typically earn less from their secondary source of income than older generations, with only 19% having a monthly side hustle of more than $500 a month, compared with 50% of those older.

Of those who earn money on the side, 54% use the extra cash to help pay for expenses, rather than as disposable income for other things, according to Bankrate.

About seven in 10 women say they use the extra money from a side job to help pay expenses, compared with 42% of men who do the same.

Besides ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, other side hustles include services like InboxDollars, which pays people for surfing the web. Brands pay InboxDollars for customer feedback, so through the service, people can get paid for taking online surveys, watching videos and shopping. A similar service, Swagbucks, rewards people with cash back or gift cards for surfing the web. And there is always home-rental site Airbnb.

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, which obtained telephone interviews with 1,002 adults in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by Princeton Data Source from June 22 to 25. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.