It turns out the gig economy is a lot bigger than we thought.
According to a new study, there are nearly 24 million “online income positions” — roughly 10 million more than previous estimates — across the U.S. These include gigs with Uber, Lyft, Shipt and other app-based companies, as well as online marketplaces like Etsy.
That number is pretty staggering, and it comes from direct surveys completed by more than 40 members of the Internet Association, a trade association that represents global internet companies.
The analysis, which was conducted by Internet Association chief economist Christopher Hooton, also provides a state-by-state look at these jobs. It shows that as cost of living and poverty rates rise in a state, workers are more likely turn to the gig economy to supplement their incomes.
In fact, when you control for population and other economic factors, a 1% increase in a state’s poverty level would lead to a 43% increase in the number of these internet-based freelance jobs per person.
To help you visualize that change, consider this: Florida has 1,792,347 online income positions (again, think Fiverr, TaskRabbit, etc.). If the Sunshine State’s poverty rate happened to jump 1%, we would expect 230,675 people to start working new online side gigs if Florida’s population remained the same.
Of course, a rise in the poverty rate could also mean a decrease in the demand for these services, which might offset demand for these jobs. And you have to remember, this analysis is just a forecast, and we’re not necessarily saying poor states have lots of online income positions — the prevalence of tech companies, global domestic output and other factors also influence their concentration.
Here Are the 10 States Where You’re Most Likely to Work an Online Side Gig
So where are all of these online side hustles right now? Here are the 10 states with the highest concentration of online income positions per capita:
- California: 15%
- Delaware: 14%
- Hawaii: 12%
- Massachusetts: 12%
- Colorado: 10%
- Washington: 10%
- Florida: 9%
- Nevada: 9%
- New Jersey: 9%
- Utah: 9%
Need More Income? Here’s How to Maximize Your Side Hustles
With nearly 24 million online side gigs out there, you’ll need plenty of hacks to stand out and stack cash. Luckily, there are tons of ways to maximize your online side gig. And here at The Penny Hoarder, we consider ourselves experts in that arena.
Become the Uber Uber Driver
There’s a lot more to driving Uber than knowing a city’s back roads. And if you know some of the best hacks for driving Uber, you’re sure to make more money than your weekend warrior colleagues.
Stay hydrated and full (you wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry) by carrying water and snacks. Stay away from clumps of other drivers, and log out of the driver app right before you think a surge fare will kick in, since logging out reduces the number of drivers in the area and starts driving up fares.
Now you’re really cruisin’ for a payday.
Get Your Lyft on — Family Style
Sam and Susen Meteer supplement their family’s income with as much as $1,500 a week driving for Lyft.
That’s a pretty penny. And it’s possible because they tag-team this side hustle.
If you and your partner are OK with a little time apart, you can maximize the cash you make with this rideshare app by doing the same.
Become a Grocery Guru With Shipt
Shipt turns you into an app user’s personal shopper.
Move fast and memorize grocery store aisles, says Destiny Frith. Getting really good can mean taking on as many as three orders at once.
If you get $5 to $10 in tips per order, you could add a nice amount to your bottom line.
Get Really, Really Good at Building IKEA Furniture
Recently, Swedish furniture designer IKEA bought the on-demand labor app TaskRabbit in one of the most obvious corporate moves in history.
Which means if you’re already a Tasker (someone willing to do freelance odd jobs), you can make a lot more money if you master the baby wrench and the art of Swedish furniture assembly.
It’s not easy. But it’s a decent way to stretch that side gig income.
Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites. We help millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. In 2016, Inc. 500 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the U.S.
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