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June 30, 2016

New Perspectives

New Research on the YouEconomy

by DSN Staff



Click here to order the July 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


The cover story in the May 2016 edition of Direct Selling News explored the emergence of the YouEconomy — a seismic shift in the American economy that is expanding opportunities for individuals to carve their own paths toward entrepreneurship. In order to better understand the size and scope of the YouEconomy today, SUCCESS Partners Holding Co., the parent company of SUCCESS magazine and Direct Selling News, commissioned Harris Poll to conduct an online survey May 17-19, 2016 among 2,026 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. The findings are striking. Already, one-third of U.S. adults say they’re earning income in the YouEconomy, and economist and best-selling author Paul Zane Pilzer predicts that number will grow to half of all U.S. adults by 2020.

Here are some of additional highlights from the survey:

The YouEconomy appeals to a broad range of demographic profiles and, at least for now, typically represents a supplemental source of income for participants.

Demographics of the YouEconomy Workers

  • Men are more likely than women to have earned income in the past 12 months in the YouEconomy (40% male vs. 27% female).
  • Not surprisingly, the youngest adult segment (ages 18- 34) tends to be more likely to earn income through the YouEconomy as compared to the oldest adult segments (ages 45+) (42% 18-34, 40% 35-44 vs. 32% 45-54, 27% 55-64, 22% 65+).
  • Adults with children in the household also are more likely to earn income through the YouEconomy than those adults with no children in the household (41% with children in household vs. 29% without children in household).
  • Among those who have earned income through any of the previously mentioned ways, for most – about 7 in 10 adults (71%) – this income is a secondary source of income. Conversely, only about 3 in 10 (29%) rely on their YouEconomy earnings as a primary source of income.
  • Men are more likely to say their income earned through the YouEconomy is a primary source of income compared to women (37% men vs. 18% women).
  • Slightly more than half of adults (53%) report the income they earn from any and all of their YouEconomy work contributes to less than 20% of their total income. Only 17% of adults report their YouEconomy earnings contribute to 80% or more of their income.

Note: This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighted variables, please contact Charlee Russell at crussell@success.com.