In the wake of the great reassessment of work, we dove into our data to see how each generation of workers interacts with the gig economy today. We looked by age across the United States, digging into frontline hourly opportunities in industries such as fulfillment, warehousing, food production, and general labor gigs.
Baby Boomers, individuals currently aged 57 to 75, and Generation X, those aged 41 to 56, work more than any other age group in the gig economy. Generation X took home more money from gig work per month on average than any other generation.
Some are closing in on retirement and picking up gigs for a little extra cash, and others are still working other full-time and part-time jobs and choosing 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.
Who’s working the most?
We found that 1 in 5 Baby Boomers (20%) are doing more than 2 gigs per week on Wonolo. Similarly, 20% of Gen X’ers are doing more than 2 gigs per week on Wonolo. In contrast, only 11% of Millennials complete more than 2 gigs per week and just 6% of Gen Z complete more than 2 gigs:
The top categories both Gen X and Boomers are working in include fulfillment, warehousing, and food production.
Who’s earning the most per hour?
Millennials (aged 25-40), who often dominate the conversation about desiring flexible work arrangements, are tied with Gen X’ers in terms of highest average hourly earnings at $15.68.
Interestingly, Gen Z saw the sharpest increase in average hourly earnings between 2019 and now, with an 11% increase in hourly earnings. Boomers, on the other hand, saw less improvement in earnings relative to other generations over the same two-year time period, although all cohorts saw earnings increase from pre-pandemic times:
Who takes home the most per month?
Gen X is taking home more monthly income from gig work than any other generation, at $352 per month. The average Baby Boomer is adding $331 a month to supplement their existing income, thanks to their side hustle gig work. That’s an additional 21% of an average retiree’s monthly Social Security benefit based on data from 2019.
In comparison, a Millennial gig worker is adding an average of $228 per month to their income through Wonolo, and Gen Z is only taking home $151 each month.
Which generation will be next to dominate the gig economy?
While Millennials make up the largest pool of total gig workers using Wonolo (53%), Gen Z is gaining ground, and is the only generation that has seen their percentage of overall jobs completed increase between 2019 and 2021:
As more Gen Z’ers enter the workforce, many are gravitating to gig work as a flexible way to pay off student loans and focus on other entrepreneurial endeavors such as photography and personal passions like traveling.
As one Wonoloer, Evan, told us recently: “I absolutely love this app. I can’t wait to see jobs in more places, so I can keep traveling the country! With the flexibility of working Wonolo jobs and living the #VanLife, I can live my dream of traveling whenever I want.”
Data for this report is derived from jobs posted on the Wonolo platform from January 2021 through June 2021. The data encompasses jobs posted and accepted across the US (excluding California). Over 300,000 jobs and 27,000 workers are considered. The data for this report was pulled and analyzed in August 2021.