ABS: Almost 1 million Australians juggling multiple jobs

Women, younger employees more likely to be multiple jobholders

ABS: Almost 1 million Australians juggling multiple jobs

Nearly one million people in Australia have at least two jobs, with women and younger employees more likely to be working multiple jobs, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Data released by the ABS on Friday revealed there were 970,700 multiple jobholders across the country, equivalent to 6.7% of all employed people.

This is a 1.4% increase from the 957,100 multiple job holders logged in September 2023, according to the report. It also follows the trend between December 2022 and 2023 where multiple jobholding rates were between 6.6% and 6.7%.

Bjorn Jarvis, ABS head of labour statistics, said the data shows signs of stabilisation for multiple jobholding rates after plummeting from major highs during the pandemic.

"The multiple job-holding rate, which climbed to record highs during the pandemic, has also begun to stabilise, and has been between 6.6 and 6.7% over the past year," Jarvis said in a statement.

"While it hasn't continued to increase, it is still around 0.8 percentage points higher than it was immediately before the pandemic."

Multiple job-holding rate by gender, age, industry

By gender, women's multiple job-holding rate was at 7.5%, lower than the six per cent recorded for men.

By age, employees aged between 20 and 24 had a multiple job-holding rate of 8.4% in December 2023. They are followed by workers aged between 15 and 19 with 7.8%.

By industry, employees with the multiple job-holding rate came from the Agriculture, forestry and fishing, as well as the Administrative and support services sectors.

"It is important to note that some industries lend themselves to multiple jobholding," the ABS report said.

"For example, some workers in agriculture, forestry and fishing may work several seasonal jobs for different employers in addition to their main job; and some labour hire workers may work for a number of businesses in Administrative and support services."

According to the report, multiple job holders spend an average of 30.3 hours on their main job and 9.1 hours on their secondary jobs.

Handling multiple jobholders

Flexibility, increased casualisation of the workforce, inflationary pressures, and the rising costs of living have been attributed as reasons for more Australians taking up multiple jobs.

Fay Calderone, partner in the employment and workplace relations practice at Hall & Wilcox, previously advised employers that handling multiple jobholders would require transparency and having the right documents and frameworks.

"If you have those policy frameworks and documents in place that require people to disclose or seek approval, then that's all lawful and reasonable direction," Calderone previously told HRD.

"When something does go wrong and someone's job is encroaching or they have done something that prejudices or impacts their primary role, then there's a very clear, lawful, and reasonable basis for the HR professional to discipline the employee — and may ultimately lead to the termination of the employment."

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