Multiple Jobholders On The Rise

February 9, 2015 3 Comments

I think this is interesting to note when considering growth of the labor market. I always say that you should always consider wage growth when evaluating labor market growth. For that reason, I say that looking at multiple jobholders is a good indicator of determining trends in future labor market growth.

It is actually important to know that the multiple jobholders is actually derived from the Current Population Survey, which is run by the US Census Department. This is different from the Current Employment Survey, which has a larger sampling size than CPS. Nonetheless, they have their differences and flaws. 

For example, the CPS includes ALL persons, including people who are self-employed, domestic and agricultural workers, while the CES only counts employees who have received a paycheck during the reference week of the 12th. Also, when considering the CES, one person holding two jobs is counted as two different people, while the same worker is counted as one person in the CPS. Considering this, it is important to understand the relationship between amount of jobs created and who actually fills them.

As you can see, single job holders (All Employees – Multiple Jobholders) has increased steadily since the recession. At the same time, we’ve seen an even faster growth in multiple jobholders. While multiple jobholders are only a small percentage of the labor force, around 5%, the growth is increasing around 8%. 

If you look at historical trends in the first chart, you’ll see that people stop holding multiple jobs when their incomes rise or they find a better job that pays more. Both scenarios are synonymous with improving economies. However, there hasn’t been any meaningful income growth since the recovery started, which means people have to work second jobs just to have enough money to be broke.

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