From your coworker’s Etsy business to your cousin delivering for Postmates, everyone seems to have a side hustle these days. Yet even with the gig economy thriving, the writing could be on the wall for a few popular side hustles.
Between the rising cost of living and growing employee unrest, people all over are looking for extra cash to improve their financial situations. Side hustles are a popular way to increase your top-line income without sacrificing the stability of your day job. However, there are a few popular side gigs you want to watch out for because they may be on the decline in the year ahead.
1. Short-Term Rentals
What began as a way for people to earn some cash renting out their extra space quickly turned into a real estate investing gold rush that may be past its prime.
In what some sources call the Airbnbust, the second half of 2022 has seen a steep decline in profitability for many hosts on short-term rental platforms like Airbnb.
More units are sitting vacant more of the time, but the bills keep coming.
One of the primary factors contributing to the shift is a massive increase in supply. For years, social media personalities and content creators in the investing space have recommended short-term rentals as a stream of passive income. And people have been taking the advice — 62% of the 1.2 million current Airbnb listings in the US have appeared in the last three years alone.
There are now too many investors and side hustlers competing for too little demand.
Along with the bloat in supply, we may be seeing a simultaneous drop in demand for the service. The flood of profit-minded investors into the space has severely impacted user experience.
Users in many areas have observed a steady rise in fees, demands, and hassles when staying in short-term rentals. This added friction may drive guests back to traditional hotel stays and other accommodations while traveling.
Getting into short-term rentals as a side hustle means putting money forward as an investment. And the way the market is right now, the profit doesn’t justify the risk.
While short-term rentals struggle against market conditions and the levers of economics, one side hustle faces a much simpler problem: technology.
Transcription is a tried-and-true side hustle dating back decades before the rise of the gig economy. There have always been people with too much to say and not enough time to write it down: doctors, public speakers, business leaders, and politicians, to name a few.
For many years, transcribing recorded audio into printed text has been reliable work for typists hoping to earn extra cash each month. Recently, technology has supercharged the ease and effectiveness of this side hustle with marketplaces to find gigs quickly, tools and applications for streamlined listening and typing, and more.
However, there is another side to the coin of technology, as there often is. In the case of transcription, artificial intelligence now threatens to render the job obsolete.
There are already products on the market that offer AI transcription cheaper than a human equivalent. For the moment, AI transcription is often less accurate, as anyone who has watched a video with AI-written subtitles can attest. Even so, the bots converting human speech to text are learning every day and getting better at the job as they do.
Human transcription is not gone yet, but it is hanging on by a thread. Therefore, you likely don’t want to rely on this as a steady side hustle for much longer.
Similarly to transcription and many other side hustles, ride-sharing will eventually face the existential threat of automation. However, that threat is not quite as imminent in this case. Self-driving cars are coming but seem unlikely to supplant human drivers entirely in the immediate future.
Instead, what could drain the life out of the ride-sharing industry is the industry itself.
Many new drivers still flock to join services like Uber and Lyft. However, some quickly find that fees and dwindling incentives significantly curtail their profits. As a result, ride-share could decline due to a lack of supply.
Insufficient motivation for drivers to join and work bottlenecks available ride-shares. In turn, the lack of drivers creates an unpleasant user experience and pushes potential customers back to traditional alternatives like carpooling, taxi services, and public transit.
One of the original heralds of the now-gargantuan gig economy, ride-sharing as we know, it could be heading into tumultuous years. Just like Airbnb losing ground to the industry it once promised to disrupt, the ride-sharing industry may be driving users back to traditional options.
Gigs and Side Hustles in the Year Ahead
The side hustle industry is changing, but change itself is nothing new. As the broader economy continually adapts to a gig-based structure and more workers seek flexible patchwork incomes, the territory will likely keep shifting. As a result, some side hustles will wax and wane in popularity while others may disappear entirely and make room for new ones.
More important than any specific side hustle, it is crucial as a gig worker to keep your eyes, mind, and options open. Don’t be afraid to try new things; watch out for shifting tides and rotating opportunities. The more you can diversify, the greater your economic stability and potential will be.
More Articles From the Wealth of Geeks Network:
- Left Hand Itching – Does It Mean Money Coming to You?
- Thrifting and Thriving: Finding First-Rate Value in Second-Hand Goods
This article was produced by It’s Not Your 9 to 5 and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.