Macro

Workin’ 5 to 9: The Rise and Fall of Hustle Culture

When Dolly Parton spun her classic 9-to-5 into an ode to side hustles for Super Bowl commercials, it sparked controversy as to whether hustle culture is the new norm. But is this really a 'whole new way to make a livin’?

Revelio Labs

10/5/21

When Dolly Parton spun her classic 9-to-5 into an ode to side hustles for Super Bowl commercials, it sparked controversy as to whether hustle culture is the new norm. But is this really a 'whole new way to make a livin’? By looking at online profiles who list more than one concurrent position, we can track the rise and fall of hustle culture in the American economy:

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Between 1990 and 2015, side hustles became increasingly prevalent. At the peak of hustle culture, 18% of workers had a secondary job. As conversations on work-life balance and mental health became more audible, this trend took a downward turn.

An important distinction to make in this context is between a secondary job necessary for a living wage, versus a passion project. Below are the companies with the highest shares of employees with side hustles, when their primary position earns above-median salaries:

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And below are the companies with the highest shares of employees with side hustles, when their primary position earns below-median salaries.

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Key Takeaways:

  • The share of American workers with a side hustle has steadily increased between 1990 and 2015. However, since 2015 we are observing the fall of hustle culture.
  • Google, Microsoft, and Amazon employees have some of the highest shares of side hustles for high-paying workers.
  • Starbucks, Subway, and McDonald’s employees are the ones most likely to hold another job, signaling that these companies are not giving the hours or pay their employees need.
  • Dolly Parton is the Queen of Country Music.

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