Gen Z Embraces Side Hustles as Cost of Living Rises

As the cost of living continues to climb, Generation Z (Gen Z) individuals are increasingly turning to side hustles to meet essential expenses. Once viewed as a supplementary source of income or a pursuit of passion projects, side hustles have become necessary for many, offering financial resilience in an uncertain economic landscape.

In 2024, 43% of British people will be working side jobs, according to a survey by the comparison website Finder. Among them, 68% are Gen Zers, indicating a notable embrace of diverse income streams within this demographic.

Start-up mentor and youth employment coach Zoe Piper, in research facilitated by online marketplace Airtasker, highlights the pandemic’s impact on Gen Z, positioning the pursuit of alternative income sources as a response to financial uncertainty.

While side hustles have traditionally been associated with flexibility and autonomy, they now buffer against potential job losses and escalating living costs. The trend is reflected in the allocation of side hustle earnings, with 33% of respondents utilising the income to cover regular expenses, 27% for discretionary spending, and 25% for savings, as per a Bankrate survey.


Among the most common side hustles pursued by Gen Z and other demographics are:

1. Website and App Development: With the global app development market projected to grow significantly, individuals engaging in website and app development as a side hustle benefit from the sector’s expansion. says hourly rates for mobile app developers range between $44 and $57, with potential high earners surpassing $132,690 annually. Similarly, web developers command hourly rates ranging from $39 to $51, with an average annual salary of $80,270 to $106,176.

2. Tutoring: The private tuition market in the UK, estimated to be worth between £1 billion and £2 billion, offers lucrative opportunities for side hustlers. Online tutoring, in particular, has gained traction due to its affordability and accessibility, with rates averaging around £30 per hour.

3. Freelance Graphic Designing: With a sizable portion of the graphic design industry comprised of freelancers, individuals with creative skills can explore freelance graphic design as a lucrative side hustle. ZipRecruiter reports an hourly rate of approximately $35, with annual earnings averaging $72,122.

4. Personal Training: Fitness enthusiasts can leverage their passion for fitness by offering personal training services, with hourly rates ranging from $30 to $120, depending on specialisation and experience.

5. Social Media Managing and Marketing: The burgeoning demand for social media managers presents opportunities for freelancers proficient in social strategy and platform-specific expertise. Freelance social media marketing managers earn around $31 per hour, with an average annual salary of $64,845.

6. Freelance Writing: Freelance writers can capitalise on their writing skills across various mediums, with entry-level rates ranging from $0.03 to $0.06 per word and expert writers commanding up to $0.30 per word.

7. Guest Speaking and Moderation: Experienced individuals can monetize their expertise through speaking engagements and moderation gigs, with potential earnings ranging from $2,500 to $50,000 per engagement, depending on experience and industry relevance.

As the work landscape continues to evolve, side hustles offer financial stability and avenues for skill development, career exploration, and entrepreneurial ventures, making them an integral part of Gen Z’s approach to employment in the face of economic challenges.


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