Rise in Multiple Job-Holding

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Sydney, Sept 8: According to recent Labour Account figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of individuals holding multiple jobs in Australia surged to 959,000 during the June quarter of 2023, marking a notable increase of 7.0 per cent over the past year.
Bjorn Jarvis, the head of labour statistics at ABS, revealed that this growth in multiple job-holders outpaced the overall employment rate. Secondary jobs saw a 0.2 per cent increase, while main jobs experienced a growth of 0.8 per cent. Consequently, the rate of multiple job-holding reached a new high of 6.7 per cent in the June quarter of 2023.
Jarvis noted, “Over the 25 years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of multiple job-holding typically ranged between 5 per cent and 6 per cent.
However, it has steadily increased over the past two years and has now been at 6.3 per cent or higher for seven consecutive quarters.”
This means that approximately one in 15 people held more than one job in the June quarter of 2023, compared to one in 18 people two decades ago.
Over the past five years, women have consistently had a higher multiple job-holding rate than men, with 7.6 per cent of women holding more than one job compared to 5.7 per cent of men.
The Health care and social assistance industry saw the highest number of individuals holding multiple jobs, with 157,200 people, of which nearly 79 per cent were women.
The Administrative and support services industry had the highest rate of multiple job-holding at 9.4 per cent, followed by Agriculture, forestry, and fishing at 9.3 per cent, and Arts and recreation services at 8.8 per cent.
Conversely, the Electricity, gas, water, and waste services industry had the lowest rate at 3.6 per cent.
Younger workers, particularly those aged 15-24, were also more likely to hold multiple jobs, with 8.0 per cent of 15-19 year-olds and 8.2 per cent of 20-24 year-olds engaging in multiple job-holding.
This trend aligned with the industries where younger workers were more commonly employed.
Despite the recent increase in filled jobs by 0.8 per cent over the quarter, job vacancies in Australia remained significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Job vacancies decreased by 3.0 per cent in the June quarter of 2023, marking the third consecutive decline.
However, they remained 87.4 per cent above the levels observed in the March quarter of 2020.
Approximately 2.7 per cent of total jobs were vacant during the June quarter, down from the record high of 3.2 per cent in the September quarter of 2022 but still well above the 1.6 per cent reported in the March quarter of 2020.
Job vacancies decreased in nine of the 19 industries, with the Retail trade industry witnessing the largest drop, down by 5,600 vacancies.
This was partially offset by increases in the remaining 10 industries, with the Education and training sector seeing the largest increase in job vacancies, up by 2,300 vacancies.
Moreover, the report indicated that hours worked increased by 2.5 per cent in the June quarter of 2023, reflecting a 5.8 per cent increase compared to the same period in the previous year.
This growth was influenced by fewer people working reduced hours during the Easter holiday period in April.
The rise in hours worked was observed in 16 out of the 19 industries during the June quarter of 2023, with Arts and recreation services leading the way with a 9.3 per cent increase.
Conversely, the Administrative and support services industry recorded the largest decline, with a 4.5 per cent decrease in hours worked.
In summary, the ABS report highlights a significant surge in multiple job-holders, particularly among women and younger workers, while job vacancies remained elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels. The increase in hours worked in several industries further underscores the evolving labor market landscape in Australia.

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