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More people working two or more jobs

The number of people holding multiple jobs rose to 959,000 in the June quarter 2023, an increase of 7.0 per cent over the past year, according to Labour Account figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Bjorn Jarvis, ABS head of labour statistics, said: “Growth in multiple job-holders continued to outpace increases in overall employment, with the number of secondary jobs rising by 0.2 per cent and main jobs up by 0.8 per cent. As a result, the rate of multiple job-holding climbed to a new high of 6.7 per cent in the June quarter 2023.”

“Over the 25 years before the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of multiple job-holding had usually been between 5 and 6 per cent. It has generally been increasing over the past two years and has now been 6.3 per cent or higher for the past seven quarters.”

“This means that around one in 15 people had more than one job in the June quarter 2023, compared to one in 18 people 20 years ago.”

“Looking over the past 20 years, there are around 50 per cent more employed people than there were in June quarter 2003, but close to 80 per cent more multiple job-holders.”

Women and younger workers more likely to hold multiple jobs

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In the June quarter 2023, 7.6 per cent of women held more than one job compared to 5.7 per cent of men.

“Over the past five years, the multiple job-holding rate for women has been, on average, about 1.9 percentage points higher than for men,” Mr Jarvis said.

“The Health care and social assistance industry had the highest overall number of people holding more than one job (157,200 people), around 78.9 per cent of whom were women. This broadly reflects the gender distribution of employed people in this industry, with Labour Force data showing that 76.5 per cent are women.”

The rate of multiple job-holding was highest in the Administrative and support services industry (9.4 per cent), followed by Agriculture, forestry and fishing (9.3 per cent), and Arts and recreation services (8.8 per cent). It was lowest in the Electricity, gas, water and waste services industry (3.6 per cent).

End of interactive chart.

Younger workers were also more likely to hold multiple jobs, including 8.0 per cent of 15-19 year olds and 8.2 per cent of 20-24 year olds. Many of the industries with higher rates of multiple job-holding are also where younger workers more commonly work.

Job vacancies

Despite the recent increase in filled jobs, which rose by 0.8 per cent over the quarter, job vacancies remained much higher than before the pandemic. They fell by 3.0 per cent in the June quarter 2023, the third straight fall, but remained 87.4 per cent above March quarter 2020.

Around 2.7 per cent of total jobs were vacant in the June quarter, which was down from the record high of 3.2 per cent in September quarter 2022, but still well above the 1.6 per cent in March quarter 2020.

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Job vacancies declined in nine of the 19 industries, with the largest drop seen in Retail trade, down 5,600 vacancies. These falls were partially offset by increases in the remaining 10 industries, with the largest increase in job vacancies seen in Education and training, up 2,300 vacancies.

Hours worked

Hours worked increased by 2.5 per cent in the June quarter, up 5.8 per cent from the same time last year. Some of this strength in the quarter reflected fewer people than usual working reduced hours over the Easter holiday period in April.

Hours worked increased in 16 out of the 19 industries in the June quarter 2023, with the largest increase in Arts and recreation services, up 9.3 per cent. The largest decline was in Administrative and support services, which fell 4.5 per cent.

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