Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Moonlighting; Holding a Second Job in Utah

By Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

Do you think more of us are working two jobs to make ends meet? Think again. Recently-released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on multiple jobholding in states indicates a smaller share of Utahns hold more than one job today than they did a decade earlier. During 2013, 6 percent of Utahns moonlighted. Only 2010 showed a lower rate. In addition, given the margins of survey error for this figure, 2010 and 2013 are not statistically different.
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BLS began tracking the percentage of workers holding more than one job by state back in 1999. Between 1999 and today, Utah’s highest level of multiple jobholding occurred in 2003 when 9 percent of workers held more than one position. By 2013, that share had dropped to 6 percent.

Changing demographics may contribute to the declining rate of multiple jobholding. A BLS study of multiple jobholders in the 2000s found that teenage and older workers were least likely to hold more than one job than other workers. As the vast baby boomer cohort ages and has weaker attachment to the labor force, they are less likely to moonlight.


Since 1999, the United States has experienced a relatively steady decline in multiple jobholding. While Utah’s rate has trended downward over the past decade, the share of workers with two or more jobs has proved far less steady. In both 2003 and 2009, multiple jobholding in Utah spiked, dramatically amplifying a very minute increase in the U.S. rate at roughly the same time.

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Interestingly, the Utah “spike” years seem to coincide with recessionary or early-recovery periods. On the surface, this relationship may seem counterintuitive particularly during the most recent deep recession. In 2009, the multiple-jobholding rate peaked just as job loss was at its worst. With so many individuals unemployed, why did the share of workers with two jobs increase?

Goods-producing industries are hardest-hit during a recession. Perhaps unemployed workers from goods-producing industries took two lower-paying service-producing jobs to make ends meet. In addition, a substantial number of multiple job holders are self-employed. Workers may have turned to self-employment to supplement earnings during hard times.

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Utah workers are more likely to be employed at multiple jobs than are their national counterparts. In 2013, only 4.9 percent of U.S. workers held more than one position. However, Utah’s percentage of multiple jobholders measured lower than most other Intermountain West states’ figures.

Northern states were more likely to show higher rates than southern states, with a concentration of high-rate states in the Midwest and New England. South Dakota showed the uppermost multiple jobholding rate at 9.5 percent. Florida clocked in with the lowest percentage of multiple jobholding workers (3.4 percent).

1 comment:

  1. Good information to know and right to the point on career. Thanks for this well written post related to search jobs , i’ll follow up for more updates if you keep posting them.

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