Record number of Australians working multiple jobs

A record 850,000 Australians were working multiple jobs in the last quarter of 2021, an increase of almost 100,000 quarter-on-quarter.
By: | March 16, 2022

This was due to the dearth of well-paid full-time jobs as workers struggle to make ends meet, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The three sectors which employed the largest number of workers with more than one job were health care and social assistance, administrative and support services, and education and training.

The ABS data showed that workers are “desperate” and struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living, said Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus.

Concurring, Angela Knox, associate professor of work and organisational studies at the University of Sydney Business School, said the lack of full-time and permanent work has led to people “cobbling together” multiple jobs to earn a decent income. “A significant proportion of it would have been precarious work; casual work that is not ongoing – very piecemeal jobs,” she said.

The trend of Australians holding more than one job for several years can be attributed to fewer full-time jobs and “anaemic” wage rises, said Australia Institute Centre for Future Work policy director Greg Jericho.

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“Wage rises have not been keeping up with cost of living,” said Jericho. ABS data showed that wages rose by 0.7% in the December quarter which lagged behind the 1.0% rise in inflation in the same period. Employers in the private sector are following the practice of placing caps on pay rises in the public sector, Jericho said, according to The New Daily.