Of all the job postings on Indeed in the US, 13% are part-time jobs. And these jobs are some of the most highly sought after. Queries for part-time jobs are among the fastest-growing job searches in the country and “part time” was the most popular search term in this first week of the new year.
In an economy where jobs are plentiful but wages are stagnant, it makes sense that people would be eager to supplement their income. To learn more about how many people are making that choice, and the reasons why, we surveyed 3,000 people who are currently employed full time.
We found that more than one-third of people employed full time did some kind of work on the side in the last year. Over half were working two jobs to keep up with “cost of living,” while 13.9% were working part time to “explore a new career.”
Most significantly, of those working more than one job, 89% said they plan to continue doing so in 2016. In a recovering economy, we might expect people to give up their side gigs as more full-time work becomes available. Instead, people are expressing less confidence in full-time jobs—and wages could be the cause.
As our Chief Economist Tara Sinclair explains, “Employers have been slow to raise salaries despite increasingly strong demand for workers in 2015, and this survey shows many wage earners don’t expect that to change in 2016. While many people take on part-time jobs for extra spending money or as a hobby, the survey shows the majority are working to make ends meet, a situation we hope to see change in 2016 as a stronger economy boosts wages.”
Of the workers polled, 62.1% said they saw little to no wage increases last year, 24.5% said it increased somewhat, and only 3.4% said they saw it increase a lot or over 4%. Their experiences are consistent with data from the federal government showing wage growth hovering at a relatively low 2%. The results come even as Indeed job data shows strong employer demand for high-skill workers in fields such as healthcare, information technology and real estate.
These part-time jobs may be the way some workers are hoping to transition to new career paths. The survey found that 65.9% of people working part-time did so in different fields from their full-time work. Nearly half took part-time jobs working for another company and 22.9% started their own business.