Is a Rise in Side Gig Moonlighting All Myth?

Is a Rise in Side Gig Moonlighting All Myth?

If you spend your off-hours teaching Zumba, selling your crafts on Etsy or offering strangers lifts via Uber, you may increasingly find yourself in the minority.

A recent Pew Research Center study reveals that, despite popular belief that moonlighting is more common than ever, fewer Americans are supplementing their 9-to-5s with second jobs.

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In the last decade—and particularly since the end of the Great Recession—moonlighting has decreased substantially. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports as of August 2014, only 7.1 million Americans held multiple jobs—a number almost 800,000 below the average in 1994 to 1999.

But while the myth that more people are moonlighting might not hold water, another side-gig stereotype does seem to be grounded in truth. According to BLS data, highly educated workers and people in their early 20s are more likely to work multiple jobs.

Why young people? Surprisingly, one possible explanation has less to do with business and more to do with pleasure. More than any other generation, Millennials seek work that is not only professionally and financially gainful, but also personally and socially fulfilling.

Therefore, it's not unlikely that Millennials who find their day job lacking in personal fulfillment would seek a second job to satisfy a desire for personal enrichment. In fact, about 20% of American moonlighters work a second job for personal—and non-monetary—development.

If juggling a second gig appeals to you—but you need some inspiration—check out these four wacky (but profitable!) ways to bring in extra cash.

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