More people are working multiple jobs to fight price hikes and layoffs

City says 7,000 summer jobs are available for Boston youth ages 14 to 18

The number of people working in more than one job is increasing.

The number of multi-employed people was 8,137,000 in March, or 5.1% of the total employed population. latest data From the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s up from nearly 7.5 million people during the same period last year, or 4.7% of the total working population.

But the March level was still below the pre-pandemic level of 8,181,000 million in February 2020 5.2% of the total working population.

Among those with multiple jobs, the number of people working their primary job full-time while holding a part-time job reached its highest levels since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. More than 4.6 million people were working full-time. 1 part-time job in March 2023, the second time the data has exceeded the February 2020 number of 4.5 million.

ZipRecruiter principal economist Sinem Popper said in an email to MarketWatch that the rising cost of living and workers’ desires to protect themselves in the event of a layoff are the two main factors driving the increased percentage of employees with multiple jobs right now. She added that employees are also looking for additional sources of income to ensure that they have at least one source of income if they lose a job due to a possible recession.

Inflation has eased after a year of rapid growth, but prices are still high compared to last year. Prices of all goods and services increased by 6% in February compared to a year ago, and food prices increased by 9.5% compared to the previous year, according to the latest government data.

Layoff announcements happen regularly. The technology sector alone has lost more than 168,000 jobs since the beginning of 2023.

“As the cost of living continues to rise, it can be difficult for individuals to make ends meet with just one job,” Popper said.

Anuj Nayar, financial health officer at LendingClub, said in a statement that while consumers have adjusted to inflationary pressures by budgeting and spending less, many have also turned to a side job to supplement their income, especially after many pandemic-related government benefits ended. .

Nearly half of working adults have supplemental sources of income in addition to their salary, according to a recent survey he conducted LendingClub and PYMNTS. The survey found that 27% of high-income consumers and 26% of middle-income consumers said they had a side job.

Since the pandemic, an increasing number of workers have chosen to work part-time as well Due to burnout related to the pandemic or other reasons such as caregiving responsibilities. But the percentage of part-time workers has decreased in the past two months.

The percentage of people who have work or are looking for work increased in March, and the labor force participation rate reached 62.5%, the highest level since February 2020.

Although the job market remains strong, hiring is slowing. The economy added 236,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate fell from 3.6% in the previous month to 3.5%. The gains were lower than adjusted gains of 326,000 in January and 472,000 in February, but still higher than the Fed had hoped for the slowdown in hiring.