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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Working for a living. . . .

I found this on the MSNBC site, at the end of a long, rather boring response to a question about whether the current recession is 'better or worse' than the recession of the 1970's. I'm not sure why we care. The recession hurts, regardless.

Anyway, the following question (and subsequent answer) was:

How many Americans are working two jobs to help cope with gas and food increasing?

About 7.8 million Americans — or about one worker in every 20 — held more than one job in June, according to the employment data released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of those people may have three jobs or more. The BLS only asks if you work more than one. And it doesn't ask why.

That’s up a bit from last June, but as a percentage of the work force, the number of people working more than one job has held fairly steady since the end of the last recession in 2001.

Unfortunately, all that the extra work — on average — hasn’t paid off very well. Adjusted for inflation, the average weekly paycheck has barely budged since then. That’s one reason American consumers are feeling so stretched: The cost of gasoline, food and other household bills is going up faster than their paychecks.

Apparently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics asks people whether they're working two jobs! But they don't take the extra step to ask WHY! I think that's a bit lazy! If you've got your subject on the phone (or have enticed him or her to return a survey via email or snail mail), wouldn't it be interesting to get some more information?? I suppose I'm interested in this because I do work two jobs, and while I could probably make it financially (once I pay my credit card off, that is) without Job #2, it sure it scary to think about losing the extra money when I've gotten so used to it. Especially now that food and gas prices have increased so substantially. . . . .


marci357 said...

Yes - I think the WHY a person is working more than one job is more important than how many.

In the 70's recession I only worked one job, and my spouse only worked one job.

In 1995, 96,97, I worked numerous jobs... five at one time actually trying to make ends meet - but I was going thru a divorce at the time. Had nothing to do with the national economy, and everything to do with only MY situation.

Right now I am only working 4/5's of a job - when I could just as easily be working all 5 days - in fact the boss wants me working 5 and I said NO :) By choice, I prefer the time off to spend with family. Again, has Nothing to do with the national economy and everything to do with my debt free status.

So if the only used a basis of how many jobs one works, then the recession was in 95-96-97, and right now is a time of luxury!

Go figure!

Finally Frugal said...

I LOVE that! Having the freedom to say to one's boss: "no, I want to work part time, and what's more, I can afford it"!

I'm always jealous of the French, who have legislated a 35 hour week (along with the 6 weeks of vacation time they get). Sarkozy is now trying to get rid of this law, but it seems to be the epitome of 'family friendly'.

Good for you, Marci!!

marci357 said...

Luckily for me, as long as I work over 30 hours a week they will continue to fully pay my health insurance :)

And I will make exceptions when they are swamped, such as our local Charity Drive weekends when we get in tons of stuff :)

Remember, freedom to choose is one of the greatest reasons to become debt free! Keep working at it!

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