Sixty percent of those surveyed said they were employed with half holding a side job or finding other ways to supplement income

Cookeville – According to a report, almost half of employed Americans work second jobs, a 13% increase since Joe Biden took office in 2021. Sixty-two percent of adult U.S. Consumers live “paycheck-to-paycheck” as of Feb., a slight uptick from 60 % in Jan., but the number has remained relatively steady.

The report shows consumers are adapting to inflationary pressures well and finding creative ways to manage cash flows.

“While consumers have adjusted to inflationary pressures by budgeting and spending less, many have turned to supplemental income with a side job or alternative income sources to improve their financial standing,” said Anuj Nayar, Financial Health Officer at LendingClub. “A vast majority of consumers became used to working from home during the pandemic and after returning to work, many kept flexible hours and turned to alternative income streams to expand their earning potential beyond a 9-to -5 job.”

In the Upper Cumberland, the average unemployment rate is 4%. The labor force participation rate is at 59.1% statewide, and 57% of able people in Tennessee have jobs. The report also states “27% of high-income and 26% of middle-income consumers say they have side jobs.”

Consumers who are not living “paycheck-to paycheck” have also reported an increase in gig work or side jobs. Fifty-six percent said they took the work because it was easy money or enjoyable. Consumers working “paycheck-paycheck” said they took a side gig because they couldn’t pay their bills.

Side incomes could amass $52 billion in cash payments. According to the report, “the data shows that across all supplemental income streams tracked, consumers have received these funds for an average for just 15 months.

Supplemental income will continue to be a way of life for many people with 51% of those who have not taken second jobs reporting they plan to within the next 12 months.

“As pandemic- related financial benefits were pulled back by the government, more and more people turned to alternative income to make ends meet and manage their cash flow,” continued Nayar. “What is clear: no matter your income bracket, having supplemental income greatly impacts financial stability and can often mean the difference between living without difficulty and living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to pay monthly bills,” said Nayar.

Image by senivpetro on Freepik.

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