Nearly 900,000 people are working more than one job

by Greg Jericho


As wages fail to keep up with inflation a record number of poeple are having to work more than one job to get by

The latest Labour Account figures reveal that in the September quarter, a record 895,920 people (6.5% of all employed) were working more than one job.

While it is good that people are able to find extra work to pay the bills, that the rise of multiple job holders has been rising now steadily for 8 years reinforces that this is a systemic issue due to low wages growth over that period and the recent high increase in the cost of living. It is not a record that should be celebrated. It highlights that far too many jobs now lack either the hours or the wage for people to pay their bills. It raises great concerns that the level of working poor is growing quickly now as inflation rises well beyond that of wages.

In the September quarter, there were some 997,200 jobs that were not the employee’s main job. This suggests that over 100,000 people are working three or more jobs.

This data comes on the day that the Bureau of Statistics also revealed that in the 12 months to August this year, the median wage rose 4.2%, well below the 7.3% rise in inflation over that period.

As wages fail to keep up with inflation, we can expect the number of people needing to work multiple jobs to rise and this is a damning indictment of the past decade which saw little action to raise wages, and indeed attempts by the previous government to keep wages growth low.

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