‘I’m Selling My Blood’: Millions In US Can’t Make Ends Meet With Two Jobs

According to data from the US census, more Americans now hold two or more jobs, with women more likely than men to hold multiple jobs.

‘I’m Selling My Blood’: Millions In US Can’t Make Ends Meet With Two Jobs 1

Due to corporate price hikes and global inflation, millions of Americans are currently working two or more jobs to make ends meet. Over the past year, prices for essentials like food, petrol, housing, and health insurance have skyrocketed.

Cashe Lewis, 31, of Denver, Colorado, presently holds down two jobs while looking for a third to help pay the $200 increase in her apartment’s rent that just took effect. She works days as a barista at Starbucks, but she claims that scheduling reductions as part of management’s campaign against union organising have made it difficult for her to get enough hours, even though she takes on extra shifts whenever she can.

She works six days a week, often 16 hours a day at a convenience store since the hours are consistent.

“I’m exhausted all the time,” said Lewis. “On the one day I have off a week, I donate plasma for extra money. I’m literally selling my blood to eat because I have no choice.”

Due to his epilepsy, her partner is unable to work full-time hours. Their medication is pricey even with insurance, so she spends around half of a two-week salary at Starbucks to pay the insurance payments.

She has struggled with homelessness for the past five years and was previously fired from her job for sleeping in her car next to her place of employment.

“All of my friends and family work multiple jobs as well, just trying to keep our heads above water. Nothing is affordable and the roadblocks set up to keep people in the cycle of poverty benefit the most wealthy members of our society,” added Lewis. “We aren’t living, we’re barely surviving and we have no choice but to keep doing it.”

According to data from the US census, more Americans now hold two or more jobs. Women are more likely than males to hold multiple jobs, and low-wage workers are the most likely to hold multiple jobs.

Laura Richwine of Omaha, Nebraska, currently has two jobs—one in fraud prevention and the other in administrative work—and formerly had three jobs to pay the substantial medical expenditures she has incurred since being hit by a car in 2014.

“It’s rough and I barely have any energy to keep up with much else,” said Richwine. “I’ve got a bachelor’s degree and have been working for over 10 years, but up until this year I had never had a job that paid more than $15 an hour. Many places around me still only offer Nebraska minimum wage, which is $9 an hour. You can hardly even buy food with that amount.”

More than 400,000 Americans hold two full-time jobs, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over 7.7 million people, or 4.9% of the 164 million+ US workforce, had two or more jobs as of September 2022.

The most recent year for which data is available, 2018, had a rate of 7.8%, or about 13 million workers, even though US census data estimates these rates and numbers to be significantly higher. At the time, BLS statistics estimated 5.0% of the workforce to be employed in several jobs.

Due to limitations on what constitutes a multiple jobholder and the absence of statistics on self-employment, such as gig workers, both data sets are seen as underestimating the number of multiple jobholders in the US labour market.

An even larger percentage of workers, 16.4% in 2019, or 26.5 million workers, were anticipated to be working several jobs, according to an annual poll conducted by the Federal Reserve Board.

Many of these employees work numerous jobs to attempt to make ends meet and frequently put in more than 40 hours each week.

Robert Weaver, a theatre technician from Lawrence, Kansas, currently works two jobs—as a delivery driver and for around 20 hours a week at his second job.

He mentioned that he had two jobs because his area does not have any full-time positions that match his college degree. His credit card balances, taxes, unexpected expenses like car repairs, and medical bills consume the majority of his discretionary income.

“There isn’t enough money to be able to afford a home or even rent from just one job on your own,” said Weaver. “Everyone is in debt and it’s looking like we will never pay it off, ever.”

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  1. I work 3 hours a day during the week, and a couple hours over the weekend. Pays all my bills and, during the warm season I am able to bank about $500/mo. Winter costs are higher of course so I cannot bank the same amount.

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