By Arsenio Toledo
More and more Americans are signing up for a second job to supplement their income as the inflation crisis continues to make the cost of living far more expensive.
This comes from the new jobs report for October of the Department of Labor. According to the report, the number of Americans who have picked up part-time work to supplement the income they receive from their full-time jobs has increased by six percent year-over-year. This brings the number of Americans with two jobs – specifically, one full-time job and one part-time job – to 4.5 million people. (Related: High inflation and cost of living taking a toll on health of many Americans, according to survey.)
In a survey of more than 1,700 United States-based employees by Monster.com, an employment website, nearly 75 percent of American workers said they need an additional job to make enough as inflation has whittled down their wages.
A separate survey of 4,700 workers by Prudential Financial, a Fortune 500 finance company, found that 81 percent of Generation Z and 77 percent of millennial workers said they have pursued gig work or are considering some other kind of part-time or freelance work to supplement their full-time incomes.
Inflation eating into people’s wages
The inflation crisis is making any gains in people’s wages negligible. This is the main driver forcing many full-time workers to consider getting additional work, either part-time or freelance.
“I had to do what I had to do to not fall behind,” said Antonio Torres, 29, a full-time asphalt paver in St. George, Utah. Torres got a part-time weekend job like cooking and washing dishes at a popular restaurant chain, giving him an additional $200 in income each week.
Torres said that, in his six years working as an asphalt paver, this is the first time he has ever needed a second job to help pay bills. Even though paving work tends to slow down as the year ends, Torres and his wife, a medical assistant, were still able to handle all of their expenses and have enough to enjoy themselves with the occasional night out.
Blue-collar workers like Torres aren’t the only people seeking extra work in the deteriorating economic environment. Jennifer Knippenberg, chief recruiting officer for the staffing company Kelly Services, noted that many recruiters have seen an uptick in professionals in white-collar settings looking for ways to pad their incomes.
Knippenberg noted that only one out of every 100 white-collar worker had to take on a second job in previous years. Now, it’s one in 30.
“We had to do something because we were falling about $200 a month behind on bills,” said Onema Stewart, 47, an associate recruiter for a consulting firm. She got a part-time job working evenings and weekends as a sales associate at a Home Depot.
The rising price of groceries and gas, in addition to the costs for her 18-year-old son’s college education, made Stewart’s second job necessary. “I’m grateful that I’m still young enough and fit enough to be able to do what I’ve got to do to make sure my family still has the things that it needs,” she said. “But, at the same time, I’m kind of resentful a little bit that I have to do that.”
For some, like 31-year-old Cashe Lewis of Denver, Colorado, a second job isn’t enough. She is currently trying to find a third job to cover the $200 monthly rent increase to her apartment. She works full-time as a barista at Starbucks, and at night she works at a convenience store. She works six days a week, often 16 hours a day.
“I’m exhausted all the time,” said Lewis. “On the one day I have off a week, I donate plasma for extra money. I’m literally selling my blood to eat because I have no choice.”
Read more news related to the economic crisis in America at EconomicRiot.com.
Watch Republican Rep. French Hill of Arkansas talk about how much Americans are suffering due to inflation.