CDI Corporation

Fewer Americans working multiple jobs

A recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that smaller numbers of Americans are working multiple jobs to support themselves. The study reported that in 2013, only 5 percent of all employed people were juggling more than one position. This rate dropped from 1995, when 6.8 percent of active workforce participants had multiple employers. This means that while 6.8 million workers had more than one job in 2013, 7.5 million people fell into this category 18 years before.

Fortune magazine noted that the decline in people holding multiple positions was strong across a variety of demographics, education levels and industries. Traditionally, workers in a few sectors were prone to holding multiple jobs simply due to the nature of their work. People specializing in manual labor, like construction or mining, have historically balanced multiple employers, especially when work was unsteady or harsh winters forced them to look for temporary employment in different industries. Having more than one job has also been commonplace among people in the education and services fields. While having multiple positions is still fairly standard in these industries, the number of workers choosing this lifestyle has been declining over the past 20 years, following the overall trend.

While the study did not point to one solid reason for the downward trend in multiple job-holding, it explained that people have been putting in more hours at part-time jobs in recent years. Because of this, they may be inclined to simply work less than 40 hours per week and find other sources of income to supplement their part-time salaries. Putting in more hours at part-time positions also gives people less time to take on a second job, especially if they work in fields that do not offer flexible employment schedules.