Inflation forces Americans to value a second job

(Bloomberg Opinion) – More than half of American workers have considered taking on multiple jobs to pay for day-to-day expenses, as inflation remained stubbornly high in September and real wages fell.

About 38% of workers have looked for a second job, while another 14% intend to do so, according to a survey of more than 1,000 full-time U.S. employees by Qualtrics International Inc., which makes software used by more than 16,000 organizations. Meanwhile, 18% of working adults said they have moved to an area with a lower cost of living to cut costs, and 13% plan to do so.

Working parents, in particular, are in a difficult situation. About 70% say their salary is not enough to cover growing expenses. A recent study by the Brookings Institution estimated that the current price hike means it will now cost more than $300,000 to raise a child to age 17, an increase of $26,000 since inflation took effect. started to increase.

Nearly half of working parents have looked for a second job and are nearly twice as likely to have moved to cheaper cities as employees without children.

“With tight budgets, workers are looking for ways to cope with the rising cost of living, including finding new jobs,” said Benjamin Granger, chief occupational psychologist at Qualtrics. “Staff turnover is a huge cost to businesses, so it’s critical that companies know which of their employees are likely to leave and why.”

Working two or more jobs is nothing new, especially for low-income workers who struggle to meet basic expenses. For many office workers, however, work-from-home arrangements have opened up new opportunities to earn extra cash. According to a survey in May by Zapier, a technology company specializing in automation, 40% of Americans have a secondary job, compared to a third before the pandemic.

Not all bosses support side jobs for employees: A recent article in the magazine Society for Human Resources offered advice to employers on how to handle this, especially if an outside job drains a worker’s time and energy. . Last week, Business Insider reported that Equifax had laid off two dozen employees for working second full-time jobs. Meanwhile, the recent increase in back-to-office mandates may make it more difficult to work away from home while increasing costs previously offset by remote work, such as commuting, meals from noon and childcare. .

For 28-year-old Jordan Parker, soaring rent, food and gas prices have made it nearly impossible to rack up savings, even with a relatively well-paying 9-to-5 marketing job in San Antonio. Therefore, he plans to start his own company to market his digital media services.

“It put me in this position of recognizing that I can’t afford, even with a good full-time salary, I can’t really save to settle into my 30s to live the life I dream of.”

Although her boss is in favor of her taking another job outside normal working hours, Parker said she would be disappointed if the company did not offer her a raise that adjusts for inflation.

“I know not everyone can get what they ask for in this regard,” he said. “But you know you’re doing a good job and you’re a good employee, and it’s like, ‘Well, good luck.'”

Original note: Inflation is forcing more than half of Americans to consider a second job

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