You might not know it, but May is Older Americans Month. To celebrate the older Americans contributing to the gig economy, we dove into our data to see what the age of hustling looks like today.
While many operate under the assumption the gig economy is represented by younger workers in between jobs or yearning for flexible hours to balance other demands in life, it turns out that’s not quite the case. Baby Boomers – folks currently aged 55-73 – have quietly become the winners of the gig game. Some might be retired and picking up gigs for fun or a little extra cash, and others are still working other jobs in their spare time and choose flexible gig work to supplement their income. No matter the reason for adding a side hustle to their income, these workers often desire more flexibility in their schedule – which gig platforms like Wonolo provide.
So what does the average Boomer gig worker look like? We found that nearly one-third of Baby Boomers (31%) are doing more than 3 gigs per week on Wonolo. In contrast, a little more than 1 in 5 Millennials (22%) complete more than 3 gigs per week. The top categories Boomers are working in include fulfillment/warehousing, general labor, and administrative gigs. This means Boomers are actually doing the heavy lifting on some of the most physically demanding jobs on the platform.
While Millennials (aged 23-38) often dominate the conversation about flexible jobs and the future of work, the Baby Boomers on Wonolo are making the most money.
Across the nation, the average Baby Boomer is adding $573.55 a month to supplement their existing income, thanks to their side hustle gig work. That’s an additional 39% of an average retiree’s Social Security benefit in 2019. It’s about enough to pay for a month’s groceries for a family of 2, or to cover the average new car payment.
In Wonolo’s 3 largest markets, Baby Boomers are averaging even more in monthly gig earnings: $1,003.45 in Northern California, $844.57 in Southern California and $814.73 in New York/New Jersey.
In comparison, a Millennial gig worker is adding an average of $454.35 per month to their income through Wonolo.
Baby Boomers are also earning an average of $14.63 per hour doing gigs – the same as Gen X. This is 24 cents more per hour than a Millennial’s average of $14.39.
Not only do older Americans earn the most money via gig work, but they also get the best feedback from businesses. Baby Boomers have earned the highest Requestor* ratings of any age group, with an average of 4.86/5 stars. Gen Xers also average 4.86 stars, while Millennials have earned a rating of 4.81 stars on average. (Overall, Wonoloers earn 4.82 stars.)
What we found by looking at all Wonolo gigs completed in 2018 supports what we have heard in the stories of Wonoloers like Gene S. – the golden years are a great time to embrace the gig lifestyle.
*Requestor is the Wonolo term for a company requesting gig workers.