Want to know what the most important side hustle statistics are in 2022?
These research-backed statistics show how many people are starting side hustles, why they are becoming so popular these days, why some ambitious people choose to become entrepreneurs, and so much more.
Ready to learn more about side hustles and the opportunities they present? Let’s start!
Top side hustle statistics in 2022
- 34% or one in three Americans have a side gig
- Side hustlers who dedicate 12 hours per week to their business earn a median of $1,122 per month
- Almost 50% of people with a side hustle do it because they want to, not because of financial constraints
- At the same time, one-third run a side-hustle because they need to supplement their income
- 32% of side hustlers spend just 5-10 hours per week on it
- 50% of millennials have a side hustle
- 70% of Gen Zs have a side hustle
- The U.S. side hustle market is valued at over $2.58 trillion
- 83% of Americans will perform gig work by 2027
- Three-quarters of people love their side hustle
What is a side hustle?
According to Dictionary.com, a side hustle is a job or occupation that brings in extra money beyond one’s regular job and main source of income. Whether it’s a hobby that one is passionate about or just a secondary way to make ends meet, a side hustle brings in supplemental cash.
A side hustle gets its name because it’s on the side of one’s full-time job. So, a side hustle requires that the person is working elsewhere too. If someone quits their day job to pursue and grow a side hustle, it’s no longer a side gig, is it? More people than ever are quitting their day jobs to start their own thing—but we’re sharing that statistic later.
Now that we’ve defined what a side hustle is, let’s discover just how popular side hustles are in 2022. Let’s dive in!
What percent of workers have a side hustle?
1. 34%, or one in three, Americans have a side hustle
Side hustles are on the rise as already a third of Americans report having a side gig. Many of these side hustles are relatively new; two-thirds started their side hustle within the past three years. As more people turn to flexible ways to earn extra money, this number is forecasted to keep growing.
2. 24% of Americans plan to start a side hustle this year
Considering all of the Americans who already have a side hustle, imagine nearly one-quarter of the population planning to start. Whether they are seeking extra cash out of necessity or hoping to save a little extra each year, 61.6M Americans plan to find a second source of income soon.
3. 61% believe the current generation needs a side business for money
According to a survey of 2,000 full-time employed adults, the majority think we live in a time where our primary jobs aren’t going to cover it. The future of side hustles is growing considering 39% predict having a side job will become the norm.
4. 43% of full-time workers say they have a side hustle
Nearly half of Americans report working a gig outside of their full-time occupation, but it’s not always out of necessity. The most common reason full-time workers started a side hustle was wanting a source of disposable income. 34% of side hustlers admit to using their extra income for disposable spending.
5. 50% of millennials say they have a side hustle
The younger generation of millennials has more side hustles than the 34% of U.S. adults who report having one. Why so many millennials? Those surveyed report that they leave college with a lot of debt that prior generations were never exposed to. They are also entering an affordability housing crisis, forcing many to resort to a side hustle to save for their first home.
6. 70% of Gen Z are picking up side hustles
The United Kingdom’s youth is embracing side hustle culture as much as Americans. 70% of Gen Z young brits report having a second job and 34% of those spend 20+ hours per week on it. Why are such young folk working so hard? 70% are covering debt and expenses while 14% are saving up for a house. A driving force is money, considering only 12% of these Gen Z’s are fulfilling a hobby.
|Gen Z side hustlers||Reason for side hustle|
|70%||Covering debt or expenses|
|14%||Saving up for a house|
|12%||Fulfilling a hobby|
7. 83 million Americans will perform gig work by 2027, compared to the 57 million currently
More and more people are adopting a side job. It is estimated that 36% of the U.S. workforce works in “gig jobs” and analysts forecast this percentage to grow to over 50% soon. In a few years, the side hustle market will pick up even more momentum, picking up a forecasted extra 26 million Americans.
How big is the side hustle market?
8. The U.S. side hustle market value is at least $2.58 trillion
The gig and side job economy within America is much bigger than people realize. The top 9 gig companies, like Airbnb, Etsy and Care.com, generated $13.6 billion in 2017. The same year, temporary help agencies reported another $150 billion.
9. Over half of solo businesses are doing it on the side
There are 25.7 million “non-employer” (only one person) small businesses within the U.S. That makes up 81% of them. Of those, 60% are running their small business as a side hustle.
10. U.S. business formation grew by almost 42% in 2020
As you may have guessed, the side hustle market is growing year over year. U.S. business formation grew by almost 42% in 2020, experiencing a giant spike. While that number dropped from 2021 to 2022, the number of small business applications remained over double what it was in 2010. The states that received the most business applications from 2019-2020 were Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Florida, Texas and California.
11. 2 out of 3 full-time independent workers believe they are more secure than working for someone else
The pandemic shifted many people’s views about job security. People now believe that traditional jobs are riskier than years prior, encouraging people to start that side hustle for added financial protection. Full-time independent workers transformed their side hustle into a career, but the fact that this freedom is delivering more peace of mind than a normal job is shocking. Also, 87% of them say they are happier working independently and 78% consider themselves healthier.
How much does the average side hustle bring in?
12. Dedicating 12 hours per week earns a median of $1,122 per month
Americans who dedicate an average of just 12 hours per week to their side hustle bring in enough to make over $13,000 per year. For the vast majority, side hustlers aren’t getting rich from their extra earnings, but many make enough to make a significant difference to their daily lives.
13. The average side hustle earns an average of $686 per month
(The Motley Fool)
Based on a survey of 1,006 respondents, this is what side hustlers are averaging per month. They warn that some higher earners push up the average monthly income for side gigs. That’s because more than half of surveyors earn less than $200 per month.
14. 40% of millennials say their side hustle makes up at least half of their monthly earnings
Millennials are more likely to have a side gig than their parents or grandparents, but that’s because this younger generation relies on the second job to provide a larger portion of their overall income. Millennials are generating this extra needed income by leveraging skills that are in demand that may not have been available decades prior.
15. Men earn nearly triple what women do
(The Motley Fool)
Men earn an average of $989 per month on their side hustles while women report just $361. This may be due to the fact that men take on more labor-intensive jobs like landscaping or home repair while women tend to follow side gigs like online sales, crafting, and child care. This same study also found that men are more likely to have a side job than women.
16. 4.7% of side hustles make over $10,000 per month
(Side Hustle Nation)
For a few, a side hustle can be great business. A survey of 1,722 respondents reported that nearly 5% are hitting 5-figures every month. 31.2% make $1,000 to $5,000 per month, but the majority at 36.7% bring in less than $500.
17. 81% of 6-figure business owners started it as a side hustle
Based on a survey of 200 successful small business owners who earn 6-figures or more, 81% claimed they began that business while working another 9-5. Over 33% of this sample size said their biggest motivation to build a business was to “have a bigger impact and feel more fulfilled.” One-quarter of them wanted more flexibility and freedom.
How much time does the average side hustle take?
18. People spending 15+ hours/week more than doubled in 2021
In May of 2020, just 12% of people reported spending more than 15 hours per week on their side hustle. In October 2021, that number jumped to 27%. At the same time, most side hustlers, about 32%, dedicated only between 5 and 10 hours per week.
|Side hustlers||Time spent|
19. 48% work on their side hustle over the weekends
When you’re working full-time, one must get creative to find the time for a side gig. Almost half of people work over the weekends. Meanwhile, 27% find time in the mornings to spend on their side hustle. The majority, 59%, report working on their side hustle in the evenings from 5 to 9 pm to avoid interfering with their regular job.
20. Almost half of side hustlers sacrifice time with friends and family
Nine out of 10 people with a side gig reported some level of sacrifice in order to pursue it. The most common sacrifice was losing time with friends and family (48%) while 45% reported less time for leisure activities. Other sacrifices included less sleep, less exercise, and less time spent on their full-time job.
21. 30% reported that making time for their side hustle was the biggest obstacle when starting
There are many hurdles to overcome when starting a side gig, but making time was the most prominent. 28% struggled to find the right idea, while 14% claimed that they didn’t know the first step. Other common obstacles were financing, lack of skills, and technology or admin issues.
Why do people start side hustles?
22. 46% started a side hustle to earn passive income
Almost half of those out there hustling started their side gig to earn extra money. Three out of every 10 working Americans with a side gig say they require the extra money to help cover the basic costs of living. 38% claim to have begun out of pure enjoyment, while 33% were seeking more diversity of their income.
23. 55% of people would like to turn a hobby into a side hustle one day
Over half of people in a U.S. study want to turn their passion into side hustle profits, but just aren’t yet ready to take the leap. 37% started their side hustle to pursue a passion and 41% did so just to dedicate more time to do what they love. America’s side hustle industry is growing and it may be because people are looking for new methods of personal fulfillment.
24. Almost one-third of millennials have a side hustle to save money
Side hustles aren’t just for spending. 31% of millennials (those aged 23-38) pursue a side hustle in order to save money. Only 16% of Gen Z and 18% of baby boomers have a side hustle to save. Why are millennials saving more than anyone else? Analysts say it may be due to their exposure to the Great Recession in 2007 and wanting to prevent financial struggles their parents may have experienced.
25. 48% of workers with multiple jobs “prefer to” work multiple jobs
(The New York Times)
The data supports the idea that Americans with multiple jobs prefer it over working for only one employer. That makes sense considering one-third of people, 33%, say they have multiple jobs out of financial necessity.
26. Over three-quarters of people love their side hustle
Only 51% of people claim to love their full-time job. Meanwhile, an astounding 76% said they love their side gig. Of those surveyed, almost half, 48%, would want their side hustle to become their primary source of income if possible.
27. 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August of 2021
Since the U.S. government began collecting this data 20 years ago, the month above was the highest number on record. This time has been deemed “The Great Resignation” and it accounts for the millions of Americans leaving the traditional labor market because of perspective shifts since the pandemic.
28. 32% of Americans are quitting their jobs to start their own business
The top reason why workers want to start a business is because they want to be their own boss. 59% of respondents said the pandemic revealed how vulnerable they are working for someone else. 60% of new entrepreneurs took the pandemic lockdown period to learn about running a business. But, not all of them want to become entrepreneurs. 44% quit to seek better pay and benefits and 42% claimed it was to focus on health. Another big reason, at 41%, was to find a job that they are more passionate about.
What are the most common side hustles?
29. 30 industries make up about 75% of all side hustles
One survey reported that the most common side hustle is real estate (like the booming short-term rental market) at 11%. Retail comes in at 5% of all side hustles, including online platforms like Amazon and Shopify. The other most popular side hustles include wellness and fitness, marketing, sports, and consumer goods.
30. 32% of side hustles involve selling a service
If you’re curious what people are doing to make extra cash, almost one-third of side hustles involve selling a service. This includes gigs like photography, cleaning, or fitness training. Another 30% involves selling physical goods, new or used. 13% claim to be part of the “gig economy” covering jobs like Uber or Postmates.
|32%||Selling a service|
|30%||Selling physical goods (new or used)|
What are the highest-paying side hustles?
31. Real estate is the most common and most lucrative side hustle
With workers averaging just 6 hours per week, those dabbling in real estate on the side made an average of $29,012 per year. That breaks down to $90 per hour. Buying real estate has forever been a means of accumulating wealth, but more people are exploring purchasing rental and investment properties. The least paying side hustle is farming, coming in at $9/hour.
32. 34% of leisure and hospitality workers have a side gig
Who’s more likely to work a side hustle? Over one-third of workers in the hospitality industries have a second job, followed by 33% of retail employees and 32% of those working in transportation.
Over to you!
There you have it! Now you know what the top side hustle statistics are.
What statistic surprised you the most?
Let me know in the comments below!