Monday, June 4, 2012

Oregon Workers with Two or More Jobs in 2011

Workers who hold two or more jobs simultaneously are considered multiple jobholders. The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted in its 2011 multiple jobholding news release today that the U.S. multiple-jobholding rate has declined gradually or remained flat in each of the last 15 years. The average for the U.S. was 4.9 percent in 2011, unchanged from 2010.

During 2011, 6.6 percent of Oregon workers held two or more jobs at the same time, up from 6.5 percent in 2010. North Dakota and South Dakota had the highest rates of multiple job holders in 2011 at 9.0 percent each, and Alabama had the lowest rate of 3.3 percent. Among neighboring states, Idaho (7.4%), was the only one with a higher multiple-jobholding rate than Oregon. Washington (5.7%), Nevada (5.0%), and California (4.3%) had lower rates.

Our state employment economist, Nick Beleiciks, shared some notes about multiple jobholding today:

The measure of multiple jobholding is pretty stable and a bit ambiguous. Does Oregon's high multiple jobholding rate mean the job market is so tough that more people need to work two jobs? That could be the case, but Oregon's multiple jobholding rate increased from 5.8 percent in 2005 to 6.3 percent in 2006 when the economy was booming.

Or do high multiple jobholding rates reflect the availability of more jobs? California and Nevada, for example, have very high unemployment rates and low multiple jobholding rates, while some states with high multiple jobholding rates have low unemployment rates. It's difficult to draw strong conclusions from these rates (and statistics fans will note that most of these differences are probably not significant).

For more information on multiple jobholding by state, take a look at the full BLS news release.

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