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The Washington Post has a story about a fascinating study that looks at the “gig economy" - in which American workers can use new, disruptive businesses such as Lyft or Airbnb "to make money on their own terms."

New data from loan provider Earnest, however, indicates that "the majority of workers — 85 percent of them — make less than $500 a month, on average, using those services."

Furthermore, the Post writes about a Pew Research Center survey indicating that "nearly one in four Americans now earns money from the digital “platform economy" ... And increasingly, their experiences — and their earnings — are split between those who are supplementing their incomes with side gigs, and those who rely on those piecemeal earnings to eke out a living.

“We’re starting to see that these gigs are filling in the gaps for a lot of people — a little bit of extra money here for a student loan payment, or a few hours of work there to create additional income,” Catherine New, a senior editor at Earnest, tells the Post. “But bigger picture, you also see that people are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet.”

The Post points out that "experts say a slow job market recovery, growing income inequality and stagnant wages — combined with ballooning student loan debt — have exacerbated financial burdens for many Americans, leading to the growing popularity of side gigs ... At the same time that it’s become harder to find a stable source of income to sustain a family, it’s become easier than ever to download an app that allows you to drive around passengers, rent out your bed, or stand in line for concert tickets in exchange for money."
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