By Dina Kupfer

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With inflation at a 40-year high, more Sacramento residents are turning to side jobs to make extra money and afford necessities. One man has turned his side-hustle into a serious moneymaker.

“This month alone, I’m at about $8-9,000 total,” said Michael Balzer who is a freelance resume writer.

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And that’s just what he brings in on the side.

A new study from freelance marketplace Fiverr shows that over the last five years, freelance work in Sacramento has seen a boom.

“Freelancers in Sacramento earned $1.9 billion in 2021, and there are about 46,500 of them doing this work,” said Brent Messenger, the vice president of public policy and community engagement at Fiverr.

Messenger said independent workers in California’s capital make about $40,000 a year — a 29% increase in revenue between 2016-2021.

Balzer is one of those reaping the freelance rewards. He works full-time as an IT consultant for a Bay Area tech company, but because of the pandemic, he now works remotely. The extra time not spent in the car means more opportunities for income.

“I had extra time during COVID, didn’t have to commute back and forth to work. So after I got off work from my main gig, I started doing resumes,” Balzer said.

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He started out doing resume work for friends and family, but his corporate background teed him up for a lucrative side hustle.

“I had experience in the tech industry, which was valuable to a lot of people who were trying to upscale,” he said.

In turn, Balzer upscaled his bank account.

“When I was starting back in August of last year, I was starting with 2-3 resumes a month,” he said. “And here we are eight months later, and I’m probably doing 20-30 in a month, raised my prices like five times, so yeah, it’s been a huge boom in the past couple of months.”

It’s a freelance boom that brought in $247 billion in 2021, according to Fiverr, and the industry doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.

“It’s actually 3.9% of the workforce, which is incredible, and 1.1% of GDP. So this is a huge population of workers I think policymakers need to start paying attention to,” Messenger said.

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Balzer said with the extra money he brings in each month, he is saving up to buy a house.