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Street musicians festival, Novi Sad, Serbia (Jean Menigault/Creative Commons)

When American workers decide or are forced to strike out on their own, their most frequent job is handyman, and a lot of the people taking that work are senior citizens, according to Thumbtack, the local services website.

Marco Zappacosta, CEO of Thumbtack, said almost a fifth of the 260,000 people and businesses using Thumbtack are 55 or older, reflecting a trend in which people are looking for ways to stay in the work force longer. Thumbtack operates in every county in the U.S., apart from two, he said. It has raised more than $270 million in venture capital.

After handymen, senior citizens are building contractors, photographers, painters and cleaners. But the gig jobs in which senior citizens predominate: professional wedding officiant (45% of them are senior citizens) and musicians.

  • The phenomenon is global (see the photo above, of a street musicians festival in Novi Sad, Serbia): "They want to keep working and to make sure they don't get left out of the digital revolution in the workplace," Zappacosta said.
  • Their biggest problem: is finding new customers.

Go deeper

Trading platforms curb trading on high-flying Reddit stocks

Major trading platforms including Robinhood, TDAmeritrade and Interactive Brokers are restricting — or cutting off entirely — trading on high-flying stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment.

Why it matters: It limits access to the traders that have contributed to the wild Reddit-driven activity of the past few days — a phenomenon that has gripped Wall Street and the country.

2020 was the economy's worst year since 1946

Source: FRED; Billions of chained 2012 dollars; Chart: Axios Visuals

One of the last major economic report cards of the Trump era lends perspective to the historic damage caused by the pandemic, which continued to weigh on growth in the final quarter of 2020.

By the numbers: The U.S. economy grew at a 4% annualized pace in the fourth quarter, a sharp slowdown in growth compared to the prior quarter. For the full year, the economy shrank by 3.5% — the first annual contraction since the financial crisis and the worst decline since 1946.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

How GameStop exposed the market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Retail traders have found a cheat code for the stock market, and barring some major action from regulatory authorities or a massive turn in their favored companies, they're going to keep using it to score "tendies" and turn Wall Street on its head.

What's happening: The share prices of companies like GameStop are rocketing higher, based largely on the social media organizing of a 3-million strong group of Redditors who are eagerly piling into companies that big hedge funds are short selling, or betting will fall in price.