Labor report says some Californians still overworked, underpaid

By Jeff Gonzales

Elizabeth Rhose has juggled as many as four jobs at the same time this year to make ends meet. She’s not the only one.

The number of people working multiple jobs has remained about the same since the end of the Great Recession, according to a report released last week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The 32-year-old Sacramento woman needs to work multiple jobs because she can’t “get 40 hours a week from any of them,” Rhose said. “I barely make enough to pay my mortgage.”

Despite tales of a recovering economy, Rhose’s story is no less common than it was four years ago. In California, 4.1 percent of the workforce holds multiple jobs, making it the only state in the Pacific region with a lower average than the nation’s, which has held at a steady 4.9 percent since 2010.

Still, there are fewer doubly and triply employed than a decade ago.

“The percent of the labor force in California with multiple jobs has mirrored the nation [by] steadily declining from 1995 to 2013,” said Todd Johnson, a BLS economist. “The report is another way of looking at what’s happening with employment.”

But California also has a higher unemployment rate than the rest of the nation. The country as a whole currently sits on a 6.2-percent unemployment figure, compared to the state’s rate of 7.4 percent.

In the Sacramento area, unemployment ticked up from 6.7 percent in May to 6.9 percent in June, BLS figures show.

And while current employment stats show the country adding jobs to the economy at large, many are low-paying and part time. As a result, people like Fair Oaks’ Diane Ricketts are forced to moonlight.

“[My first job] pays the rent, and my other pays for my phone and the other things I need,” the 44-year-old woman said. “It’s a necessity in this economy. I like working two jobs because I hate being broke.”

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