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Federal Workers Increasingly Turning To Side Hustles Like Uber To Make Ends Meet

Leah Bourne
January 24, 2019

Nearly 4 in 10 Americans have a side hustle, per data from a 2018 survey, but for federal workers impacted by the shutdown–some 800,000 furloughed and or working without pay since December 21–shutdown side hustles are increasingly becoming an economic necessity rather than just an avenue for extra cash.

A recent New York Times piece detailed federal workers scrambling for side hustles like becoming an Uber driver or a substitute teacher.

“It’s almost as if I’m starting over again from a teenager,” Felicia Thompson, who having been furloughed from her Department of Agriculture job and who has been delivering takeout, told The New York Times.

Meanwhile Angela Kelley, furloughed from her Bureau of Land Management job in Milwaukee, has been driving for Uber to make ends meet. “It gets me out of the house. It gives me a routine,” she told The New York Times. “I need to function. I can’t just sit and wallow in my bed all day. I’ve got to get up.”

The stories are everywhere: the couple selling things from their home online to make ends meet, the sisters who started a cheesecake business for extra income. People are even taking to social media to detail their shutdown side hustles:


We want to hear your shutdown side hustle stories! Furloughed or working without pay during the shutdown? Shoot us an email at

Considering a side hustle yourself, whether or not you are impacted by the shutdown? Head here for plenty of ideas.

Feature Image: Twenty20

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