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Work more than one job? Join the club

Unemployment is at the lowest point it’s been in decades yet one figure remains stubbornly unmoved – the number of Americans holding multiple jobs.

Multiple-job holders made up 5.1% of the total employed in August, and the share has been hovering around 5% since the expansion began in mid-2009.

That’s despite unemployment having plunged to 3.9%, an almost five-decade low and less than half the level seen in the immediate aftermath of the recession.

So, why is this happening? And is it a good or bad thing?

Economists don’t have a clear answer on this, but we do know that pay gains have been relatively moderate, so that’s probably part of the reason.

Another simple reason stems from a desire by people who enjoy the challenge of doing more, or younger workers seeking variety.

Also in the mix is the so-called gig economy, with more options such as being a driver for a ride-sharing company along with a regular day job.

Either way, the data reflects the changing nature of the economy and demographics, so this trend isn’t likely to go away until wages accelerate.

When that happens, there will be less incentive for people to work more than one job. On the other hand, demand for talent may encourage people to take on additional work tailored to their interests and schedules.

About the Author

Larry Hannappel

Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.