Side Hustles & the Gig Economy

Cite this article as: Jason Mance Gordon, "Side Hustles & the Gig Economy," in The Business Professor, updated December 14, 2019, last accessed April 8, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/knowledge-base/side-hustles-the-gig-economy/.

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I hear students every day talking about their “side hustle”. Most of the student’s activities involved providing some form of service for individuals or businesses. A small percentage consisted of buying, repairing, and selling goods through Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or in their own Shopify stores.

Most of the students providing services did so through work-for-hire platforms as part of what is known as the “gig economy”. The gig economy simply means that people are hired for a specific job, task, or gig. The work is temporary in nature.

The downside of the gig economy is that the worker is forever considered to be an independent contractor. Unlike employees, independent contractors do not generally receive job benefits, such as retirement, insurance coverage, unemployment protection, protection under the anti-discrimination laws, etc.

The upside of the gig economy is freedom. You have the ability to work on what you want, when you want, and how you want. You are your own business. You need only accept jobs that meet your interests and desire.

Most of these gig economy workers are hired through online sites such as:

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