Side gigs more prominent among millennials than other age groups, survey shows

Respondents disclose reasons they work a second job

Posted October 6, 2016

Are side jobs becoming the new norm? From bartender to blogger, it’s not uncommon for workers to have a side job to earn a little extra money or pursue an area of interest.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 29 percent of workers have a side job, a trend that is especially strong among the millennial demographic. Forty-four percent of those ages 25-34 and 39 percent of those 18-24 have a side gig, compared to 29 percent of those 35-44, 22 percent of those 45-54, and 19 percent of those ages 55 and older.

Workers of all income levels are taking on side work. Nearly 1 in 5 workers making more than $75k (18 percent) and 12 percent of those making more than $100k currently have a gig outside of their full time job. This is compared to a third of workers making below $50k (34 percent) and 34 percent earning below $35k.

The following is a breakdown by industry of workers most likely to work a side gig:

  • Leisure and hospitality: 34 percent
  • Retail (33 percent) and transportation: 32 percent
  • Health care: 30 percent
  • Sales: 30 percent
  • Information technology: 27 percent
  • Financial services: 24 percent
  • Manufacturing: 19 percent

Why work a second job?

Some workers may be taking on side work to help overcome the day-to-day drag of their day jobs. Eight in ten workers (80 percent) say they are not in their dream jobs, and 44 percent say they don’t think they ever will be. Still, 71 percent of workers with a side job do not want to turn their side work into their day job, and 76 percent don’t plan to own their own business in the future.

Below are the types of side jobs workers are most often doing in addition to their regular work hours:

  • Survey taker
  • Childcare
  • Consultant
  • Freelance writer
  • House sitter
  • Blogger
  • Bartender
  • Photographer/videographer
  • Website designer
  • Tutor

Some workers cited more unconventional side gigs:

  • Mystery shopper
  • BBQ contest official
  • Firewood processor
  • Trailer checker
  • Tattoo apprentice

Overall, workers who have a side job are more passionate about their day jobs (39 percent) than their side work (36 percent).

Survey methodology
This nationwide survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,244 employees ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between May 11 and June 7, 2016 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions).


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