Popular thought suggests youthful workers dominate the market for side jobs. But two recent studies say that seniors are just as likely to side hustle — and sometimes more profitably — than younger generations.
Baby Boomers, age 55 to 73, “dominate blue-collar gig work,” according to a study conducted by Wonolo.
One-third of Baby Boomers are engaging in 3 or more jobs per week on Wonolo’s platform. Wonolo connects side hustlers with work in warehouses, retail and administrative positions. The data came from an analysis of the 300,000 individuals signed up at the site. Only 22% of millennials take an equally large number of gigs, Wonolo says.
Boomers are also out-earning all other demographic groups, according to the site’s analysis. The average earnings of the 55-73 age-group amounts to $574 per month, or $14.63 per hour. Millennials, on the other hand, earn an average of $454, or $14.39 per hour. GenXers earn an average of $501 per month.
Looking for experience
Another study of 350 employers and contractors, found that 55% of the independent contractors in the hotel industry are over the age of 55. Less than 20% are under the age of 37, according to SearchWide Global. The age skew may be caused by a tight labor market where experienced workers are tough to come by, the study’s authors opine.
Some 69% of the hoteliers said they were recruiting for mid-level positions and above, according to executive recruiters at SearchWide Global. Nearly 9 in 10 of the independent contractors responding to SearchWide Global’s survey had 10 or more years of experience in the industry.
“With national employent rates at record highs, and an increasing number of new hospitality positions coming to market, hoteliers are challenged to find the right talent,” said Bill Scanlon, president of Strategic Solution Partners, which co-sponsored the research.
Notably, most side hustle platforms don’t pay attention to the applicant’s age. However, a handful actively recruit people over the age of 50.
The reasoning varies by the platform, but most say they’re looking for experienced individuals, who can jump in without additional training. Others note that seniors typically have “soft skills,” such as patience and good manners, that play well in client-facing fields.
WAHVE, for instance, seeks seniors with experience in accounting, insurance and human resources for work-at-home jobs. The jobs pay a little less than a seasoned executive might earn elsewhere, but there’s no commute nor professional wardrobe requirements.
Likewise, FlexProfessionals, Onward Search, SkipTheDrive and FreeeUp, specialize in finding part-time jobs for retired professionals in fields ranging from law to marketing. These sites work with small businesses that can’t afford full-time specialists, but are happy to hire consultants by the hour.