Nearly Three-Quarters of Americans Are Planning To Start a Side Hustle in 2023

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Economic unrest and financial insecurity have been swaying more Americans to pursue side hustles every year. But just how popular is the trend and how much can it grow in 2023?

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According to a survey of 2,000 workers by Fiverr, 73% of Americans are planning on starting a side hustle this year. A full 66% of those polled said they were already registered — or would be signing up — for a freelance platform like Fiverr, Upwork or Toptal.

As GOBankingRates previously reported, freelancers contributed $1.35 trillion to the economy in 2022. According to a recent Upwork study, around 40% of Americans performed freelance work last year, and the trend shows no sign of slowing in 2023.

“Rising costs of living, the need for flexible work-life balance, the option to work remotely — the list goes on and on as to why Americans are choosing to freelance,” said Gali Arnon, Fiverr’s chief marketing officer.

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While workers are being enticed by increased flexibility, job satisfaction and earning potential, money is still a main motivator for those planning to freelance or start a side hustle. Compared to a year ago, 53% of those surveyed feel less secure about their income this year. Additionally, 33% of workers asked worry that if they were to be laid off, it would take more than a month to get a new job with a comparable income level.

According to Fiverr findings, respondents’ top financial goals for 2023 included earning more money (56%, up from 53% in 2022), investing more (41%, compared to 38% last year) and saving for a big purchase like a car, home or vacation (38%, up 3% from 2022).

Freelance Job Landscape Moves Beyond Uber, Doordash

Just as freelancing and remote work has cause a shift in traditional jobs and workplaces, a dramatic drift in the kinds of jobs one would normally associate with the gig economy has been evident, as well.

Once strongly allied with delivery jobs like Uber and DoorDash, the nature of side hustles is changing and freelance platforms are now seeing a wave of “high-end, specialized” professionals selling their skills and knowledge. Talking to CNBC Make It, side hustle expert and founder of SideHusl, Kathy Kristof, said that today’s freelancers are using skills they already have to make money rather than relying on a company’s delivery and rideshare gig work.

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“Five years ago, the big stories were all about Uber and Lyft drivers or delivering for DoorDash and GrubHub,” Kristof said. “Now, the big growth really is with professional platforms where people can earn six-figure incomes from home, doing everything from marketing to law.”

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Important changes in the U.S. workforce don’t need to set off corporate alarm bells. As Arnon said, employers and corporations would be wise to pay close attention to the thriving freelance/side hustle movements and adapt them into their workplaces. Doing so can only help to encourage engagement and attract new professional freelance employees.

“We’re seeing an increase of talent registering on Fiverr in the last few months. It would be beneficial for hiring managers to look to this growing population who wish to be their own boss, and integrate their talents in copywriting, programming, AI, graphic design, translation — and more — into their full time workforces,” Arnon added.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
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