Title

Making Ends Meet: The Role of Informal Work in Supplementing Americans’ Income

Publication Date

11-5-2019

Abstract

Data from the Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking indicate that, over the course of a month, more than one-quarter of adults engage in some informal work outside of a main job. Of these, about two-thirds say that they do informal work to earn money and about one-third say that informal work is an important source of household income. Informal work plays a particularly important role in the household finances of minorities, the less educated, those experiencing financial hardship, those who work part time involuntarily, independent contractors, and the unemployed. Aggregate earnings from informal work are modest but help many households to make ends meet. Informal work cannot compensate, however, for the lack of benefits typical of part-time and contractor work.

DOI

10.7758/RSF.2019.5.5.06

Publisher

The Russell Sage Foundation

Sponsorship

The Russell Sage Foundation

Subject Areas

LABOR MARKET ISSUES; Employment relationships; Nonstandard work arrangements

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Citation

Abraham, Katharine G., and Susan N. Houseman. 2019. "Making Ends Meet: The Role of Informal Work in Supplementing Americans’ Income." RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 5(5): 110-131. https://doi.org/10.7758/RSF.2019.5.5.06