The rise of side hustles

Interest in side hustles accelerated during COVID-19, as many Americans looked for opportunities to boost their income amid rising inflation rates and a turbulent job market. New data suggests this trend has persisted in 2023, with a growing number of U.S. workers pursuing side gigs, Bloomberg reported April 9.

Last year, 44% of new business owners launched their companies while holding part- or full-time jobs, up from 27% in 2022, according to payroll firm Gusto. Overall, the number of U.S. business applications is still 40% higher than before the pandemic, federal data shows. 

Liz Wilke, PhD, a principal economist at Gusto, said several factors are fueling this trend. For one, remote and hybrid work has given people more time and flexibility to work on their side hustles while balancing their primary job responsibilities. Generative AI has also emerged as a valuable tool for people to quickly set up businesses and test proof of concept, she said.

The rise of side gigs has become increasingly apparent in healthcare, particularly among those in clinical roles. Thirty-five percent of clinicians have a part-time gig or side hustle, more than half of which are healthcare related, according to a recent survey from jobs marketplace Vivian Health. Other common side gigs survey respondents shared involved rideshare, hair, house cleaning and child care services.

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