A Lyft driver places the Amp on his dashboard on January 31, 2017, in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Lyft)
Nearly one in four Americans now take part in what is known as the “gig economy.”
From accepting odd jobs online, like cleaning homes and fixing leaky faucets, to picking up strangers in personal cars and renting out spare bedrooms, more people than ever before are a part of this non-traditional workforce, either supplementing their 9-5 income or completely replacing it.
And it doesn’t look like the trend is going away anytime soon. As Forbes previously reported, an estimated 43% of the U.S. workforce will be made up of freelancers by 2020, according to a study by LinkedIn.
So, which gig economy jobs are worth investing your time and effort into now? According to new data by Earnest, there are three companies in this burgeoning sector worth looking into: Airbnb, Lyft and TaskRabbit.
To come to its conclusion Earnest looked at anonymized data from tens of thousands of loan applicants to see how much people are earning on different gig platforms. However, it should be noted that the data does not show how many hours of work the income represents for each platform.
What it did show was that 85% of gig economy workers make less than $500 per month. But, Airbnb hosts, on average, make more than any other gig workers and are raking in an average $924 per month. Nearly half of hosts, Earnest reported, make more than $500 per month.
“Airbnb encourages hosts to think carefully about their responsibilities,” an Airbnb spokesperson told Forbes via email about signing up for the service. “Hosting offers rich experiences, but it comes with a certain level of commitment. In addition to the Hospitality Standards, hosts should provide a safe space for guests by minimizing hazards, be mindful of neighbors, check with your home owners association or co-op board to make sure that they can legally host, and abide by local regulations.”
As for ride-sharing gigs, Lyft and Uber drivers earn about the same, though Lyft does come out a bit ahead with its drivers earning an average of $377 per month compared to Uber’s $364.
Earnest also noted that drivers with Lyft tend to double dip, with nearly a quarter of drivers also working for Uber. Of the subset of double-duty drivers, Earnest reported that the average income was actually higher for Uber ($481 vs $396).
Lyft shared some data with Forbes via email to back up this multiple employment statistic. As the company noted, 82% of its drivers are employed or seeking employment outside of Lyft, while 6% are students and 5% are retired.
Meanwhile, those who engage on TaskRabbit, a site for those looking to either fulfill tasks and services or perform them, earn three times as much as those who earn through Fiverr, a similar gig platform.
“On TaskRabbit, Taskers have the ability to leverage a variety of skills to task in multiple categories, therefore, increasing their earning potential,” Jenna Williams, a spokesperson with TaskRabbit, shared with Forbes via email. “They also set their own hourly rates, and can adjust them up and down at any time.”
Moreover, Williams shared, those taking part in the site have complete control over their own schedules, meaning they can earn a little or a lot in whatever amount of time they have.
“We have Taskers who earn anywhere from a few hundred to $10,000 or more each month on TaskRabbit,” Williams said. “The success an individual Tasker has all comes down to how effectively they want to leverage the points outlined above.”
Before jumping into the gig economy first assess your skills, the amount of time you have and think about just how personal you want to get. Then, simply download the appropriate app and start earning a little, or a lot, with your new side hustle.