Workers Are Finding an Extra $700 a Month: Lots of Americans now have what are called “side hustles.”

Your boss often knows or suspects that you have another gig.

It is an employers’ dilemma. Workers leave the office each day, then they work elsewhere.

Some don’t earn enough so increasing numbers moonlight because of the limitations of their primary job.

Those are some of the conclusions of several surveys that find millions of workers moonlight.

Workers on the Make When They Leave Work

“One in four in Americans (37 percent) have a side hustle. This includes about half of millennials,” according to a survey by Bankrate.com

Freelancers, says another employment group, are now a large part of the workforce.

“The freelance economy has grown to include 55 million Americans, which is 35 percent of the total U.S. workforce,” according to FlexJobs Super Survey.

Why are so many Americans moonlighting?

Workers want flexibility. They like having the ability to have some control over work hours, the surveys found. Employers, job pros agree, must think about the growing gig economy.

Some younger workers will decide whether or not to stay with an employer based on the employer’s flexibility, according to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018.

I Can Go Elsewhere and Earn My Bread

Among those millennials who would willingly leave their employers within the next two years, 62 percent regard the gig economy as a viable alternative to full-time employment, said Deloitte, an industry consulting firm.

“And the pull is not something that appeals to only those in junior roles—in fact, quite the contrary. Seven in 10 millennials who are members of senior management teams or on boards would consider taking on short-term contracts or freelance work as an alternative to full-time employment,” according to Deloitte. The firm defines Millennials as between the ages of 24 and 35.

Why all the moonlighting?

I Need More Money

“People need disposable income,” says Amanda Dixon, an analyst with Bankrate.
This is similar to what others are finding.

“More than six in 10 (62 percent) of those millennials who would consider gig employment cited increased money/income as an explanatory factor. Flexibility and freedom are important secondary considerations,” Deloitte said.

Bankrate officials found moonlighters in many jobs. They said home repair/landscaping, online sales, craft and childcare were the most popular second jobs. The median side hustle earns $286 a month, but the average is around $700.

The gig movement is also in advertising and marketing, where four in 10 executives recently surveyed said freelancer creative workers are increasing, according to the Creative Group, a Robert Half company.

“While freelancing is not a new concept in the creative industry, it’s becoming a more attractive career option for professionals with in-demand skills,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of the Creative Group.

Employers: Watch Those Young Workers

Millennials “are more likely than members of other generations to say they have a side hustle. In fact, the odds of someone earning money from a second job decline with age,” Bankrate’s Dixon adds.

Men are more likely to moonlight and earn more than women when they do, according to the Bankrate survey. Men on average make about $1,000 a month from their side hustle while women bring home, about $360, the survey said.

Bankrate’s Dixon notes that many younger workers “are developing skills in second jobs.” These hustles, she adds, might lead moonlighters to new careers.

What Should Employers Do?

It can put employers in a difficult position, Dixon notes. Employers hoping to find productive workers ready to make a long-term commitment, are dealing with a young work force with lots of options, she adds.

Job pros say employers need to think about how they will keep these workers.

Deloitte says “flexibility” is critical in not losing them to the gig economy. The computer means that workers now have more choices than ever before.