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Sad truth behind the 1 million Aussies taking a second job

People walk the streets of Sydney and a person removing $50 notes from a wallet to represent people making money from their job.
Aussies taking on a second job has hit a record high. (Source: Getty)

Around 1 million Aussies held down two jobs in the June quarter - reaching a new record as the cost of living bites household budgets.

The number of Aussies holding down two jobs jumped 5.5 per cent to 1 million, while the number of multiple job holders also hit a new record of 900,000, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

CEO of management consultancy group ASPL Kris Grant said the data was a sign the jobs market was very strong.

“Vacancies are surging, and that is leading to continued tightness in the jobs market, which will invariably lead to higher wages growth in 2023, as employers struggle to fill vacancies,” Grant said.

“Many workers will be in a better position to demand a long-awaited wage rise to ensure their real wage is maintained. The numbers also suggest that the unemployment rate could stay below 4 per cent for many months to come.”

Grant said the sharp rise in multiple job holders was a sign many Aussies were struggling to make ends meet with just one job.

“Mortgage and energy costs are soaring and rising grocery costs are eating significantly into household budgets, so, many Australians are being forced to work more than one job to overcome high inflation,” he said.

“Others may simply be taking advantage of a strong jobs market to earn more income to spend and save more.”

Who is taking a second job?

The three industries with the highest number of secondary jobs were health care and social assistance; administrative and support services; and education.

“These sectors are big employers, with a high level of female participation, and it could be that relatively low-paid nurses or aged care workers are having to seek out second jobs to cover rising prices,” Grant said.

“Separate data released today by the ABS shows that significantly more women than men hold a university degree, yet women are, on average, still being paid substantially less than men and they dominate low-paid and part-time work, which is compromising their capacity to build wealth and save for their retirement compared to men.”

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