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Pandemic sees number of ‘side-hustlers’ double

Written by: Emma Lunn
The number of people dependent on additional work to remain financially stable is on the rise, according to Credit Karma.

The research found that a quarter of UK adults now have more than one job or run a “side hustle” to boost their earnings.

Most (61%) ‘side-hustlers’ say that their financial stability is dependent upon this additional income, and nearly half (42%) report taking on extra work as a direct response to the pandemic.

Popular side hustles include buying and selling items online, trading cryptocurrencies, or joining focus groups. Roles that can be performed from home, such as private tutoring, have also become increasingly popular.

According to Credit Karma, men are more likely to take on these additional jobs and see greater financial reward for doing so. It found that men typically take home nearly £840 a month from second jobs, where women earn £670 on average. This adds up to a difference of more than £2,000 a year.

One in five (19%) people with a side hustle use the income to pay down debt, while a third (32%) view it as a great way to save extra money. About 22% use the cash to be able to afford items that would otherwise be unaffordable.

But the study also shows that incentives for taking on extra work often goes beyond the financial, with the ability to explore passions and the enjoyment of taking on different work being key.

However, it also found that the tax penalties for second incomes outweigh the potential benefits for nearly half (49%) of workers as the majority (59%) of second income earners believe emergency tax is unfair.

Ziad El Baba, general manager at Credit Karma UK, said: “As a nation, we’ve shown extreme flexibility and ingenuity in the face of a crisis, and really demonstrated just how entrepreneurial we are. But with more and more people working additional jobs or finding new income streams, it feels like emergency tax is an outdated millstone around the neck of those simply seeking financial stability.”

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