The impact of inflation this year has resulted in many people picking up a side hustle to help cover expenses.
Zahid Arab, a spokesperson with Uber, tells KSBY since this time last year, they have seen a 30% increase in new drivers who sign up for the company, with many of them saying they use driving with Uber as a way to add an extra source of income, on top of their regular day jobs.
"I was just kind of looking for a little extra side hustle, some money on the side and it just fit in with my needs at this time." said Hugh Dugan of Atascadero, who started driving with Uber in recent weeks, following a months long lull he had seen at his traditional job.
"I have been a mortgage originator for quite some time." Dugan added. "Obviously, with the economy doing what it is doing, and lending not being as robust as it was, it slowed down. So, the timing of it was such that I decided to take a look at Uber."
Arab, meanwhile, adding that the increased cost of just about everything this year has resulted in many other new drivers.
"Basically, what they are telling us is that they are seeing their cost go up, but their family budget is getting stretched," Arab told KSBY. "Stretched to the point where they need to start thinking about a second income, or a way to absorb this financial shock."
"My sister actually suggested I try Uber, and I tried it, and I actually really liked it." said Robert Ortiz, who also signed on to drive with Uber in the past month.
According to a recent survey from Lending Tree, this year, 44% of Americans have a side hustle to combat inflation, with more than 70% of them saying they are not sure they would be able to cover expenses without that added income.
"A lot of these drivers are spinning their wheels at home, trying to figure out how to afford the holidays, how they are going to afford the presents, or the wish list from their kids, and even something as simple as an electricity bill. And so, instead of spinning their wheels at home, they can head out on the road, and spin their wheels that way, earning money when they can." Zahid Arab admitted.
Ortiz says he began working with Uber for the additional source of income, as well as the flexible work schedule.
"It has really helped us out. A lot more than I thought it would. Some nights are different than others, but it does help out a lot," Robert Ortiz said.
Along with picking up ride-share jobs, other popular side hustles of 2022 included delivering groceries, renting out your home, and selling things online. That survey from Lending Tree also found that people born in the Gen-Z generation are most likely to have side-hustles, as 62% of them say they have found other ways to generate income.