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Hidden reality of new jobs report: Americans taking side gigs to make ends meet amid soaring costs


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Just The News

"Collapsing real wages force many workers to moonlight to pay the bills," said economist Peter Schiff.

Aaron Kliegman

 Aug. 6 2022

The Labor Department's newly released jobs report for July appeared to be good news for the economy — at first glance.

A dig below the surface, however, reveals a different picture: Americans, strapped for cash by inflation, taking on second jobs as families have less money to spend.

The economy added an unexpectedly high 528,000 jobs in July while the unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.5%, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.

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American workers have been taking on second jobs as inflation continues to gnaw away at household budgets. Many people need the extra money just to pay for basic expenditures like food and gas.

Some 44% of Americans are working at least one extra job to make ends meet each month, according to a survey by Insuraranks, while 28% of respondents said they took on a secondary gig due to inflation.

Some observers have argued people holding multiple jobs is often a sign of them having more opportunities to pick up work. Others counter that the average person would only work multiple jobs because one job wasn't providing them enough money.

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olling indicates inflation is causing Americans to feel economic pain.

 

A recent Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, for example, found 64% of Americans think their financial situation is getting worse. Other surveys have shown about six in ten Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

Meanwhile, Biden's economic approval rating dropped to just 30%, according to a CNBC survey from last month.

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