Gen Zers Are Right: In Biden’s America, Millions Need A Second Job Just To Survive

To do list - side hustle
Kinga Krzeminska/Getty Images

Nowadays, they call them “side hustles,” but in the old days, they were known simply as “second jobs.”

In President Joe Biden’s America, with inflation, housing costs, and interest rates soaring, a lot of people need to make more money just to afford the cost of living. And despite all the dismissive smears on the younger generations wasting their money on cappuccino and avocado toast, they’re really just trying to stay afloat.

Nearly two in five (39%) of U.S. adults have a side hustle, according to a Bankrate survey. The numbers get even higher for younger generations.

Nearly half (46%) of Generation Z workers and more than a third (37%) of Millennials said that they worked a second part-time job — or even a second full-time job, according to a study of 22,000 young workers conducted by consulting firm Deloitte, Fortune reports.

Bankrate reports that less than one-quarter (24%) of Baby Boomers — who are now age 59 to 77 — say they have a side hustle, while 40% Gen Xers (age 43-58) have a second gig. And Bankrate puts the numbers even higher: 53% of Gen Zers (age 18-26) and 50% of Millennials (ages 27-42) said they have a second job.

The Deloitte poll found younger generations usually pick jobs they can do from home or that have flexibility, like selling online products, delivering food orders or working for a ride-share company like Uber of Lyft.

“The cost of living has been [the workers’] top concern for two consecutive years now, and finances are consistently their top stress driver,” Michele Parmelee, who heads global people and purpose at Deloitte, told Fortune. “Interestingly, these concerns are really consistent across both generations, so it’s not just a matter of Gen Zs being young and just getting started in their careers.”

Far more people with a second job say they just need the money. “Side hustles have become more common, but like so many things in this inflationary environment, people are working harder but not necessarily getting ahead. Side hustlers are much more likely to view this extra income as essential, rather than a passion project or a way to get ahead financially,” said Ted Rossman, Bankrate senior industry analyst.


The side hustles bring in an average of $810 a month, Bankrate calculates, and a third of side hustlers say they need the extra cash just to meet day-to-day living expenses. Many of the two-jobbers make less than $50,000 a year, and many don’t see it getting better: More than a quarter (28%) think they’ll always need a side hustle to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies.

For the record, it wasn’t always this way. Back in my youth in the 1970s, my dad worked as a hospital administrator and my mom as a high school guidance counselor. We lived in a big house in the now chi-chi neighborhood of Chevy Chase, Maryland (my parents bought the house in 1969 for $67,000; it’s now valued at more than $1.8 million) with a pool. We (parents and three kids) took a vacation to the beach every summer and a ski trip every winter.

But there were also plenty of families I knew where only the father worked, like my buddy Tony Salvatore’s. They had eight kids and lived in an even bigger house in Chevy Chase, all on a single income.

So the younger generations are absolutely right: Things are a mess these days. And sadly, Biden — who a lot of them voted for — isn’t doing a thing about it. In fact, the debt reduction bill just passed by Congress and on its way to the White House for his signature is going to make things worse for them.

Let’s hope by 2024 they truly take a look at the issues and pick the party that’ll most help them out — and make so they only have to work one job to make ends meet.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.

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