An increasing number of individuals in the U.S. are taking on multiple jobs to stay afloat financially.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor, around 8.4 million Americans juggled more than one job in October 2023. This marks the highest level since the pandemic’s onset, according to an analysis of the data published by CBS News. The trend is found to be particularly pronounced among women in the workforce — with nearly 6% holding multiple jobs, compared to 4.7% of men.
The dramatic change in figures is a clear response to current economic pressures — most notably high inflation rates.
Inflation remains a substantial burden for many households in the U.S. however, that’s not the only factor. Remote work has also inadvertently added to the trend by offering the flexibility required to manage several jobs from home. Additionally, CBS reports that there is also a fear of layoffs within the workforce that is also prompting people to seek supplemental income.
Overall, the labor market is showing signs of cooling, with only 150,000 jobs added in the last month — the smallest gain since June. The slowdown aligns with the Federal Reserve’s measures to combat inflation. While decreasing from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022 to 3.7% in September, inflation remains above the desired 2% target.
As the economy adapts to post-pandemic realities and inflationary pressures, the workforce is likely to continue evolving in these ways. These changes challenge traditional employment models and could prompt a reevaluation of work-life balance, compensation structures, and economic stability for millions participating in the workforce.