Working for “sharing economy” companies such as Uber and Airbnb can boost income by up to 15pc, according to an expansive analysis of earnings by JP Morgan.
Americans who make money from performing tasks on labour platforms such as Uber and TaskRabbit, a marketplace for outsourcing errands, earn an average of $533 (£373) extra each month.
Participants who rent assets on capital platforms such as home rental site Airbnb and eBay, can make an additional $314 every month, on average.
The sharing economy – also known as on-demand, the gig economy or collaborative consumption – refers to the technology companies that allowpeople to rent out their unused assets or skills.
JP Morgan tracked anonymised current accounts of 260,000 people who earned money on at least one of 30 gig economy platforms between October 2012 and September 2015.
The bank estimated that during the study period, 10.3m people – more than the population of New York City, or 4.2pc of American adults – made money from the sharing economy.
Over the three years, that number increased 47-fold.
In any given month, 2.5m people, or 1pc of adults in the US, earned money from the sharing economy – which could account for as much as 30pc of total income.
“This study is the first of its kind to shed light on the Online Platform Economy using financial transactions, and provides an important foundation for the many policy and economic debates related to what some have termed the ‘future of work’,” JP Morgan said.
The report concluded that participating in the sharing economy is a “far better option” to boost earnings during a work slump if the alternatives are to spend less or take out additional loans.
The sharing economy can be particularly important for people with volatile income or to fill the gaps for workers whose paycheque cycles do not match their billing cycles.
However, JP Morgan also noted possible downsides to relying on the sharing economy for income, such as lack of insurance, paid holiday and other employee benefits.
The bank also found a drop off in activity after the initial engagement, with 56pc of gig economy participants earning money from labour platforms after the first month and just 32pc from capital platforms.
While the JP Morgan report focuses solely on the US, the potential effect of the sharing economy has also been noted in the UK.
In last year’s Budget, George Osborne urged government employees to use sharing economy solutions “where this represents value for money” to cut transport and accommodation costs.
A report by Europe Economics estimated that the sharing economy couldboost the EU’s GDP by £125bn due to better utilisation of assets.
The global sharing economy is worth $15bn per year, according to PwC, and is projected to soar to $335bn in 10 years. The UK sector is set to grow from £500m to £9bn over the next decade.
Recent research by JustPark, which allows people to rent out their unoccupied driveways, found that more than half of the world’s 865 sharing economy start-ups were founded in the US, led by San Francisco and New York.
London was a close third, helping the UK account for a tenth of the global sharing economy.