Australians are juggling multiple careers – here's why

Would you know if your employee had a 'double career'?

Australians are juggling multiple careers – here's why

The number of workers in Australia who have more than one job has increased to 6.5% in the June quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is the highest in the agency's 27-year tenure.

"The multiple job holding rate of 6.5% in the June quarter was the highest seen across the 27-year series, and continued the rebound from the record low of 4.9% in the June quarter of 2020," added Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at ABS.

Industries that have seen the most ‘double careers’ include administrative and support services, arts and recreation, as well as education and training. The bureau also detected a faster increase in secondary jobs, which hiked by 1.4% compared with the 1.2% for primary jobs, said Jarvis. Despite this, average hours allotted for secondary jobs decreased in the June quarter, with 9.1 hours on average.

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The data also revealed that total jobs increased by 262,000 (1.8%) in the June quarter, where 167,000 were filled while 95,000 were vacant.

"Job vacancies accounted for around 95,000 of the 262,000 increase in jobs in the June quarter 2021 – around 36%. This proportionally large increase in job vacancies resulted in the proportion of vacant jobs rising sharply to 2.6%, the highest recorded in the 27 years of the series," said Jarvis.

Meanwhile, the Australian Council of Trade Union (ACTU) attributed the increase of multiple job holders to the financial insecurity felt by the population amid the pandemic.

"An increasingly insecure job market means that workers don’t have predictable, reliable hours of work that means they can plan their lives. Instead, they’re forced to work multiple jobs to pay for basics," said ACTU secretary Sally McManus in a statement.

The council is calling on the Australian government to address the issue of insecure work, which it predicted will only worsen after the pandemic.

"The recovery from this crisis should be an opportunity to create secure, reliable employment for Australian workers – instead we are seeing a massive increase in insecure work and multiple jobs," McManus said.

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