AUSTIN, Texas (Jan. 5, 2016) – Slow wage growth continues to impact many U.S. workers, with 89% of moonlighters planning to keep their part-time second jobs in 2016 either fully or in part, and over 50% doing so to keep up with “cost of living,” according to a new survey by job site Indeed.
In the survey, which polled over 3,000 people nationally with full-time jobs, over a third did some other kind of work to supplement their income in 2015. Over half of that subset did so in order to keep up with “the cost of living,” while 13.9% did so to “explore a new career.”
“Employers have been slow to raise salaries despite increasingly strong demand for workers in 2015, and this survey shows many wage earners don’t expect that to change in 2016,” said Tara Sinclair, Chief Economist for Indeed. “While many people take on part-time jobs for extra spending money or as a hobby, the survey shows the majority are working to make ends meet, a situation we hope to see change in 2016 as a stronger economy boosts wages.”
The survey re-emphasized government data that has seen wage growth hovering at a relatively low 2% despite strong job demand from employers. Of the workers polled, 62.1% said they saw little to no wage increases last year, 24.5% said it increased somewhat, and only 3.4% said they saw it increase a lot, or over 4%.
Among full-time workers in the survey, 33.6% have additional part-time jobs. The results come even as Indeed job data shows strong employer demand for high-skilled workers in fields such as healthcare, information technology, and real estate.
“We continue to see a tale of two economies in the U.S., where high-skilled workers have a lot of negotiating power in job search, but those in the middle-to-lower rungs haven’t seen much movement,” said Paul D’Arcy, Senior Vice President at Indeed. “Both employers and job seekers can benefit from increased education and training for the jobs of the future.”
The survey found that 65.9% of people working part-time did so in different fields from their full-time work. Nearly half took part-time jobs working for another company, 22.9% started their own business, and 25.7% are doing a range of jobs from babysitting to house cleaning.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that fewer people are working part-time for economic reasons in recent years as the economy has recovered. But Indeed’s search data shows that searches for freelance and part-time positions has grown since 2013, as workers look for flexible full-time work, supplemental income, or to gain new skills.
“Interest from job seekers in part-time work appears to be here to stay,” economist Sinclair said. “Our hope is that in time these second jobs will be more about building new skills and career advancement rather than just making ends meet.”
The national survey was conducted online by Censuswide on behalf of Indeed from November 11 to December 11, 2015, and included a representative sample of 3,058 workers across industries.
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Kelly Oude Veldhuis
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