Nearly one million Australians have a second job, with younger women more likely to juggle multiple jobs compared to men, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS data reports that there are 970,700 people, or 6.7 per cent of the employed population, with more than one job in Australia. The rate of multiple job holding is higher among women at 7.5 per cent, compared to 6 per cent for men, reflecting a 1.9 per cent difference over the past five years.

Retail store manager and part-time worker Tekia Cheyne said having an income from two jobs is nice but the hours worked are sometimes exhausting.

“I’ve had multiple jobs in my lifetime, and I found that women tend to stay longer at jobs than men. I worked at McDonalds for at least six years of my life. In that time, I watched many people come and go with most of them being men leaving.”

“With the cost of living, you kind of must have two jobs. If you still want to do the things that we used to do prior to price increases, the second job helps.”

In December 2023, the number of individuals holding multiple jobs increased to 970,700, marking a 1.4 per cent increase from the 957,100 reported in September 2023. The increase comes amid rising living costs.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the multiple job holding rate fluctuated between 5 and 6 per cent.

Bjorn Jarvis, ABS head of labour statistics, said the data indicates stabilisation in multiple job holding rates after the decrease from 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 per cent over the past year. While it hasn’t continued to increase, it is still around 0.8 percentage points higher than it was immediately before the pandemic.”