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. . . . .