Study: Why hourly workers forced to work multiple jobs
About 38 percent of American workers earn $20 or less an hour through hourly jobs or gig work and need more hours to make ends meet, according to Snag's State of the Hourly Worker Report. Additionally, nearly half of restaurant workers (47 percent) are among this group, followed by retail workers (41 percent) and hospitality workers (38 percent), a news release said.
Often for those making $20 an hour or less, the overall level of income — even when employed full time — is not enough to pay for basic living expenses. As a result, most (80 percent) of these individuals work several jobs to get enough hours of pay to cover expenses, though nearly 75 percent of those workers would far prefer to work one full-time job.
As a result, more than half (54 percent) of these workers who aren't making enough to live on are are actively searching for a better full-time job. A third (32 percent) are already working additional hours beyond full-time hours to pay their expenses.
"Hourly jobs account for nearly 60 percent of the American workforce and 94 percent of net new job growth is hourly," Snag CEO Peter Harrison said in the release. "People need to wake up. Underemployment is a big problem. It's deceiving. Most see unemployment hovering around 4 percent as a signal that Americans are well employed and thriving, but this is simply not the case."
Add to these findings the fact that many of these workers cannot work in a second or third job because their shifts at restaurant and retailers are irregular and often made at the last-minute, and the enormity of this particular problem becomes evident. For instance, one in five (21 percent) of hourly workers get less than a day's notice before a schedule change.
The study also found these low-paid workers were largely women (70 percent) and a fourth of them were working more than 35 hours weekly anyway.
Snag surveyed 2,100 hourly workers across industries for its State of the Hourly Worker Report.
Topics: Workforce Management