Opinion: If the economy is so great, why are 78 million hustling for dimes?
By REX NUTTING June 4, 2018
The Federal Reserve has just published a study that sheds some light on this hidden part of the economy. The Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking delves into how people feel about their economic lives and why they make the decisions they do. Surveys like this add shadings that the regular data miss.
The SHED found that about 31% of adults participate in what the Fed called “the gig economy” — work done outside of regular employment structures. That looks huge — about 78 million people. However, most of these people are working five hours a month or less on their side hustles, and the kinds of activities this survey considers to be “gigs” is far broader than what other researchers consider, including selling goods and services online or in real life, or picking up a few hours of babysitting.