Clark Howard

Here are the top cities for making money in the gig economy

More people are finding ways to make extra money — or even their primary income — from the everyday opportunities available in what is called the “gig economy.”

These gigs — from driving for Uber to delivering packages for Amazon — may be more plentiful in large metropolitan areas, but many of them can be done in smaller cities, as well.

A recent report from shows 15 cities where gig economy jobs are plentiful.

Here are the top cities for gig economy jobs

15. Portland

The Oregon city is fifth when it comes to length of Airbnb stays, according to Forbes. The study ranked the city 12th for "rides and rooms" industries, with a whopping 31.7% average growth rate between 2012 and 2014.

14. Chicago

The Windy City's skyrocketing rental market makes it a great option for people looking to rent their homes. A one-bedroom apartment cost an average of $1,341/month, according to the study. The city is also an active base for gigs like TaskRabbit, and Deskpass, a co-working space platform.

13. Denver

Denver has several freelance platforms for people to make extra money, including The Denver Egotist service as well as Simpalo and Built In Colorado job site. freelancer-oriented shared workspaces are also bountiful like Green SpacesModworks, and Denver Coworks. The Mile High City has the eighth-lowest rental costs ($1,120 a month)  on the study's list of cities, making it attractive for rental value.

12. Nashville

This country music capital is singing the right tune when it comes to freelancing and gigs. The city's ground transportation, or "rides," industry has increased by 106.5% and its lodging, or "rooms," industry grew by 21.5% over the last few years. Nashville also offers numerous shared workspaces like WELDIndustrious, and Center 615.

11. Minneapolis

Because of the winters, Minneapolis has some challenges when it comes to outdoor jobs, but the city is quite active when it comes to freelancer resources. Odd Job Nation and GO Intellectual Capital, are just two options for gig workers to find employers.

10. Phoenix

According to the study, Phoenix has "the most affordable housing options of the locations on our list, with an average monthly rent of $770 for a one-bedroom apartment." In addition to offering co-work spaces like CO+HOOTS, Phoenix was a pilot city for a LinkedIn program that allowed local residents to apply for up to four gig jobs with one online application.

9. Miami

Miami had a per capita gig revenue of $16,402the highest of the cities in the study. And the city's sky-high $2,000/month rental market makes it a top choice for Airbnb. The study also mentions that The LAB Miami is a thriving co-working space for gig workers.

8. San Diego

Couple the fact that San Diego’s apartments and condos fetch some of the highest rents ($1,547 a month for a one-bedroom). The city also saw a 66.25% jump in “rides and rooms” industries between 2012 and 2014, according to the study.

7. San Jose

"San Jose experienced a massive 90.75% growth in its "rides and rooms" economy between 2012 and 2014, giving it the number two ranking for growth," the study says. Because it is in Silicon Valley, where rents can be cost-prohibitive, freelancers in the tech industry should be able to find work although it may be remote. Thriving workspaces like NextSpace make the San Jose metro area a top destination for tech workers.

6. Dallas

Dallas, Texas, has more than oil coming out of the ground; gig workers can also hit pay dirt by taking advantage of the city's low rental costs ($997 a month for a one-bedroom). That means the cost of living isn't terribly prohibitive at all for a freelancer. The city's "rides and rooms" industry grew 40% between 2012 and 2014 10th among cities on the study's list. For nontraditional office space, the city offers SpacesWeWorkCommon DeskSerendipity Labs and more.

5. Washington, D.C.

The nation's capital comes in fifth among the best cities for gig workers. Its per capita revenue of $11,240 for specialized gig jobs in 2017 was the second-highest in the study. The city boasts a thriving scene for co-work spaces like AdvantEdgeCoveMakeOffices.

4. Boston

Beantown comes in fourth on this list because of the technical and academic know-how derived from its local universities, which are some of the best in the country. The growth in the city's gig economy, according to the study, was 59.15% — good for sixth place.

3. Los Angeles

Los Angeles tied for second (with Atlanta) for gig economy jobs. The California city saw a 79.3% increase in the "rides and rooms" segment of the gig economy between 2012 and 2014. Also, its proximity to startups and entertainment gigs, along with access to co-work spaces like The Unique Space makes the city extremely attractive for freelancers.

2. Atlanta

Atlanta, a new mecca of movie-making, tied with L.A. for #2 because of its overall moderate cost of living. However, "Atlanta's already thriving Google Fiber network combined with highly regarded co-work spaces like Alkaloid Networks broke the tie," according to the site. With a 40.95% increase, the Georgia city had the ninth-highest average growth rate in the "rides and rooms" industries of the cities on the list.

1. San Francisco

No city could match the accelerated growth and earnings potential of gig workers in the Golden Gate City. San Francisco had a 92.6% growth rate in their "rides and rooms" industries between 2012 and 2014, the highest on the list. It also had a per capita revenue of $9,272.21 for technical gig-based jobs — fourth-highest of the cities reviewed.

Whether you're in these 15 cities are not, you may in the market for some supplemental income. Here are a bunch of ways to make extra money.

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