The skyrocketing cost of living — including housing expenses — and the stagnant growth in wages have pushed many Australians to take on more than one job, according to a recent study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
In FY 2016-17, 25% of Australians aged under 30 had multiple jobs. This is almost twice the percentage in FY 2012-2012. These data are based on over 100 million tax records that were filed in six consecutive years.
The study showed that over half of people who held multiple jobs were female (53.7%) and that people who live in capital cities are more likely than others to hold multiple jobs.
According to Sarah Kaine, a professor at University of Technology Business School, this number could be higher if contractors are considered.
Keep in mind that gig economy work is independent contracting, which is a different type of employment. So it may be an even worse statistic – it might be that one in four have multiple jobs as we currently define them and then there might be a whole lot more who are also gigging contractors on the side as well,” she told Business Insider Australia.
One of the major reasons for the current trend is the slow growth in wages.
Kaine stated that this is forcing people to think hard about how they can make ends meet. One option is to take on multiple jobs.
According to a separate report by The Sydney Morning Herald, average wage growths slowed down to 2.7% in quarter one of the year.
Sally McManus, Secretary Australia Council of Trade Unions, stated that the growth in non-standard work forms has led to a “crisis of unsecure work.”
According to The Herald, “The fact that there are more jobs than people earn on average shows that people who have to work multiple jobs are desperate in need.”
Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Canada, stated in a speech that the government was working to support workers via tax policies.
He said, “We have supported tax cuts and tax relief for all Australians working, so they can keep more money.”
Recent research by Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre has shown that housing stress is a growing problem, especially among renters.
For instance, rents in Western Australia remain high despite the state’s softening housing market — about 20% of renters allocating more than 40% of their income on housing costs.
About half of the low-income single parents living in Western Australia rent, and they spend more than 30% each week on their housing expenses.
“In the early 1990s, when politicians were still young, it took six years to save 20% for an average home. It takes ten years today,” stated Sam Langford, a Junkee.com industry watcher.