Recently released ABS data for June 2021 paints a troubling picture for Australian workers: the proportion of Australians working multiple jobs is at the highest point in the 27-year history of ABS statistics on the issue.
Workers are being forced to work more than one job in order to pay for essentials, with single incomes not enough to make ends meet.
The number of second jobs jumped by 15,100 in the three months leading up to the end of June.
The industry with the highest rate of secondary jobs is administrative and support services, with the second highest being in healthcare and social assistance. Both of these top two industries have feminised workforces.
Workers in healthcare and support services have been our underpaid and overworked heroes of the pandemic, working within a healthcare system that is on the brink of being overwhelmed by the virus.
The pandemic has also exposed the dangers of workers with multiple jobs in multiple locations having the potential to become inadvertent super-spreaders, and endangering their own and their families’ health.
Unions are calling on the Morrison Government to address the issue of insecure work, which will only worsen in the aftermath of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Workers deserve financial security and assurance in one of the most difficult times in history.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus,
“The Morrison Government’s economic ‘recovery’ can’t be at the expense of some of our hardest working, lowest paid workers having to work multiple jobs.
“An increasingly insecure job market means that workers don’t have predictable, reliable hours of work that means they can plan their lives. Instead, they’re forced to work multiple jobs to pay for basics.
“It only took 3 months for the uptake of secondary jobs in Australia to increase by more than 15,000. We need action now to prevent a huge spike in insecure work through the recovery phase of this crisis.
“The recovery from this crisis should be an opportunity to create secure, reliable employment for Australian workers – instead we are seeing a massive increase in insecure work and multiple jobs.”