Here's how much money Americans are making from the gig economy


About a quarter of all Americans participate in the sharing economy, according to Pew. That means they do things like drive for ride-sharing apps such as Lyft or Uber, or, as both Kimmy and her roommate Titus do in the most recent season of Netflix's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," they perform odd jobs for strangers via platforms such as TaskRabbit or Fiver. In fact, on "Unbreakable," one of Titus' gigs ends up earning him $15,000.

But how much do most people make from these side hustles? Anywhere near $15,000?

According to data crunched by the online lender Earnest and reported by Priceonomics, some may, at least over the course of a year. But the vast majority do not: about "85 percent of side-gig workers make less than $500 a month. And of all the side-gig platforms we examined, Airbnb hosts earn the most by far."

Those who can rent out real estate using Airbnb pull in an average of over $900 a month (nearly three times what everyone else makes using other apps) and a median income of $440. About half of all hosts make over $500 a month and 38 percent make between $100 and $499.

TaskRabbit does not generate quite such strong returns, but its users do surprisingly well, earning $380 a month on average, three times as much as those who rely on Fiverr.

As for those who drive for Lyft and Uber, they average $377 and $364 a month, respectively. Though by Earnest's calculations, 45 percent of Uber drivers make less than $100 a month.

Gigs with a particularly high percentage of low-earners are Getaround (98.3 percent of workers make under $500 per month), Fiverr (96.3 percent), and Etsy (95 percent).

Titus feels flush in "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"

"Reasons for the low income could vary — some workers may be simply trying the platform, or put in very few hours."

Check out the distribution among apps in the chart below.

It's not too surprising to find that people who have assets, in the form of real estate, are more able to capitalize on them and create additional streams of passive income. As the saying goes, it often takes money to make money. And, as famed investor Warren Buffett puts it, "if you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die."

Experts like Tony Robbins recommend real estate as an excellent way to generate passive income, if you can swing it. Buy a house, not a home, and instead of living in it, rent it out, he suggests: "If you can own real estate, real estate with an income is the one [form of] real estate that's more valuable" and less of a liability.

Real estate mogul and host of CNBC's "The Deed" Sidney Torres agrees. He suggests that young buyers considering buying a home get "a 'double' — where you can live on one side and rent the other," he says. That way you split your home and collect rent or income from Airbnb: "So essentially you're living, kind of, for free."

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