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Boomer Gig Workers Make More Than Younger Ones

They’re more financially secure and more likely to have access to benefits

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Boomers in the gig economy typically make more money than younger workers, are less likely to be stressed financially and are generally more content with their situation, according to a recently published study by Prudential Financial. 


The study was based on a Harris Poll of 1,491 U.S. workers that included traditional employees and those who work exclusively in the gig economy. Prudential defines the latter as freelancers, independent contractors, and on-demand and temporary workers who provide a service or labor, and excludes those who rent out assets, such as their homes, or sell goods they’ve produced. 


The survey found that boomer gig workers on average make $43,600 a year while working 25 hours a week. That’s more than millennials ($27,500) and Gen Xers ($36,300), though the younger generations worked longer. 


Thirty-four percent of the boomer gig workers surveyed were retirees, and 46 percent said they started gig work to make ends meet. Only 32 percent were struggling financially, compared with 49 percent of millennials and 63 percent of Gen Xers. 

Seventy-five percent of boomer gig workers (the highest of any generation) said they like their current situation and wouldn’t want to change it. 

“Boomer gig workers are enjoying not only higher levels of income, but also are more likely to be married,” Jim Mahaney, vice president of strategic initiatives at Prudential Financial, said in an email. “This means that not only are they more likely to have access to employer-sponsored benefits, but that they are less likely to be the sole source of income as well. These factors, we believe, lead to higher degrees of satisfaction than younger generations of gig workers.”


One other difference: Only 19 percent of boomers said they used online platforms to find work or generate business, compared with nearly half of millennial gig workers.