Multiple Jobholders Account for 5.1% of All Employed

What are the long-term trends for multiple jobholders in the US? The Bureau of Labor Statistics has two decades of historical data to enlighten us on that topic, courtesy of table A-16 in the monthly Current Population Survey of households.

In May, there were 8.194 million people working multiple jobs in the U.S. Multiple jobholders now account for 5.1% of civilian employment. The survey captures data for four subcategories (in pie chart at right) of the multi-job workforce, the relative sizes of which are illustrated in a pie chart. The distinction between "primary" and "secondary" jobs is a subjective one determined by the survey participants.

Not included in the statistics are the approximately 0.03% of the employed who work part-time on what they consider their primary job and full time on their secondary job(s).

Let's review the complete series to help us get a sense of the long-term trends. Here is a look at all the multiple jobholders as a percent of the civilian employed. The dots are the non-seasonally adjusted monthly data points. Multiple jobholders have accounted for 5.0% or more of total employed persons for 10 straight months, the longest streak since the runup to the 2020 pandemic (17 months).

However, the monthly data points can be quite volatile so we've added a 12-month moving average to highlight the trend. The moving average peaked in the summer of 1997 and then began trending downward. The moving average hovered slightly below 5% between the last two recessions before dropping to as low as 4.4% in 2021. Since then, it has been trending upwards and is now pushing above pre-pandemic levels. The moving average currently sits at 5.15%, its highest level since February 2010.