The On-Demand Economy is thriving in America and is much bigger than most people realize, said Don Baer, global CEO at Burson Marsteller.

The On-Demand Economy, which is often called the "sharing economy," includes ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, accommodation sharing leader Airbnb and short-term car rental and food delivery companies.

According to a survey developed jointly by Burson-Marsteller, the Aspen Institute and Time, approximately 45 million Americans, or 22% of the adult population, say they have worked or offered services in the On-Demand Economy. Meanwhile, the survey said 86.5 million Americans, or 42% of the adult population, have used at least one On-Demand Economy service.

According to the survey, 51% of those who offer services in the On-Demand Economy say their financial situation has improved over the past year, compared with 34% of the general population. Along those lines, 64% of those who offer services also expect their financial situations to improve in the next year, compared with 47% of the general population.

"You find there is more optimism about it, a greater sense of possibility and options that people have when they are doing this," said Baer.

The findings also said that 55% of those who offer services in the On-Demand Economy are members of a racial or ethnic minority, compared with 34% of those who have not offered these services. In terms of age, 51% are under 35, compared to 31% of the general population who are under 35.

"This is one way that people can add to their income, they can put more into the family coffers," said Baer. "They are not necessarily finding it in the other parts of the economy and so this is where they are migrating."

Nevertheless, while those who offer services in the On-Demand Economy expressed optimism about their economic lives, the survey did uncover concerns, including the fact that 72% of workers say they should be given more benefits as part of their job.  Also, the survey said that 68% of these workers believe their industry lacks the financial safety net that many other workers enjoy.

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