"Labor Market Information (LMI) is an applied science; it is the systematic collection and analysis of data which describes and predicts the relationship between labor demand and supply." The States' Labor Market Information Review, ICESA, 1995, p. 7.
The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of demographic and economic characteristics of multiple jobholders in Wyoming. This research found that more women held multiple jobs than men in Wyoming, even though men made up a greater share of the state’s workforce. This article expands on previous research on multiple jobholders in Wyoming, which is available at https://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/mjh.htm.
by: Lisa Knapp, Senior Research Analyst
Multiple jobholders are people who work at more than one job in any combination of full- and part-time or temporary employment during a quarter. Individuals might hold more than one job for many reasons, including financial necessity, career development, or psychological fulfillment (Campion, et al., 2020). Financial necessity tends to be a common reason for multiple job holding, although it is not the only reason. Recent research from the United States Census Bureau indicated second incomes accounted for as much as 28% of those workers’ incomes (Bailey & Spletzer, 2021).
At the national level, a larger proportion of women work at more than one job concurrently compared to men, and there are more multiple jobholders in industries such as health care & social assistance, accommodation & food services, retail trade, and administrative & support & waste management & remediation services (Bailey & Spletzer, 2021; Hipple, 2010). Multiple jobholding tends to be cyclical, with the number of people working at more than one job increasing during economic expansion when jobs are plentiful and decreasing during economic downturns when the number of available jobs decline.
Nationally, the proportion of workers with more than one job increased slightly over time, from approximately 6.8% of workers in 1996 to an estimated 7.8% of workers in 2018 (Bailey & Spletzer, 2021). However, there was a dramatic decline in the number of multiple jobholders in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. The number of these workers decreased 33% from a weekly average of 8.1 million workers in 2019 to an estimated 5.4 million workers in April 2020 (Rho & Fremstad, 2020).
Different datasets produce somewhat different estimates, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (2022), indicated the number of multiple jobholders increased from 4.0% of employed workers in May 2020 to 4.9% of employed workers in August 2022. This proportion was still lower than the 5.3% of workers with two or more jobs in August 2019.
The objective of this analysis is to provide an overview of demographic and economic characteristics of multiple jobholders in Wyoming. Administrative data from the Wyoming Unemployment Insurance Wage Records database and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) were utilized to describe how multiple jobholders in the state compare based on gender, age, industry, county of residence, and over time.
The Research & Planning (R&P) section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services uses data from the Wyoming Unemployment Insurance Wage Records database (wage records) to conduct much of its research. These data are, by law, kept strictly confidential and only released in aggregate form so no individual person or employer can be identified. The information is collected by the state on a quarterly basis and contains the worker’s social security number, the employer’s unemployment insurance number, and the worker’s quarterly wages. These data are then combined with other databases maintained by R&P, including driver’s license records and worker’s compensation records, among others, to provide a rich source of data about people working in this state. Because these data are collected for all workers in the state every quarter, R&P can use the information to analyze labor force trends during a single point in time as well as over multiple quarters.
When discussing workplace turnover, R&P references four different types of work interactions: entry, both, exit, and continuous. In an entry transaction, an employee is hired by an employer and is still employed the next quarter, while a both transaction occurs when an employee starts and leaves a job within the same quarter. An exit transaction occurs when a worker is employed at a job during one quarter but not during the next quarter, and continuous refers to a worker who is employed by an employer during the quarter of interest and also the quarter before and the quarter after (Glover, 2001).
For the purposes of this article, only workers with at least one continuous job were included, although any other job held by the worker might fall into any of these four categories.
In addition to wage records, data from the CPS were used for this analysis. The CPS is a representative sample survey collected monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, used to collect data about labor force participation, hours worked, earnings, number of jobs worked, and other economic and demographic characteristics.
Due to differences in collection methodology, data universe, and data release protocols, these data are not directly comparable to wage records; however, they do allow for a comparison between state employment characteristics and those at a national level. The CPS data used for this paper were obtained from IPUMS, which is part of the Institute for Public Research and Data Innovation at the University of Minnesota. (Flood, et al., 2021).
During third quarter 2021 (2021Q3), there were 194,865 workers with at least one continuous job in Wyoming (see Table 1). Of those, 91.0% held only one job, while 8.0% held two jobs and 1.0% worked three or more jobs. A larger number and proportion of women worked at more than one job. While 6.7% of men had more than one job during this period, 11.5% of women were multiple jobholders. One in 10 (10.1%) women worked at two jobs compared to 6.1% of men, and a larger proportion of women also held three jobs (1.2%) and four jobs (0.2%) compared to men (0.6% and 0.1%, respectively). According to wage records, there were 10,632 women who had more than one job (60.7% of all multiple jobholders) in 2021Q3 and 6,895 men (39.3%).
As noted earlier, there is no national equivalent to wage records, so CPS data are provided. As discussed, the collection, definitions, and calculation methods used for the CPS are different from wage records, which explains the noticeable differences between CPS estimates and wage records counts. According to CPS data, during the months in 2021Q3, women in Wyoming made up a greater proportion of multiple jobholders (46.3% in July, 53.0% in August, and 52.5% in September) than men (see Table 2). Nationally, women made up a slightly smaller proportion of multiple jobholders, although these proportions were closer to equal with women accounting for 50.2% of multiple jobholders in July, 49.0% in August, and 49.8% in September.
Multiple jobholding appears to become less common as workers age (see Table 3). Among workers younger than age 20, 84.9% held only one job, compared to 89.7% of workers ages 25-34 and 93.5% of those age 55-64. Similarly, larger proportions of younger workers held two and three jobs. For example, 15.1% of workers younger than age 20 had more than one job compared to 10.3% of those ages 25-34 and 8.2% of those 45-54.
Based on the counts from wage records, the largest proportion of multiple jobholders in 2021Q3 were ages 25-34 (23.4%), followed by those ages 35-44 (22.5%) and 45-54 (18.1%; see Table 3).
According to the CPS, although workers ages 35-44 had the largest proportion of multiple jobholders in the state and nationally overall, there was a larger proportion of workers with more than one job in this age group in Wyoming (28.5%) than in the U.S. (24.0%; see Table 4). Nationally, the percent of multiple jobholders was more equally distributed among those ages 25-34, 35-44, and 45-54.
Primary industry of employment refers to the industry in which a person had continuous employment with the highest wages. For example, if a person had continuous employment in both health care & social assistance and leisure & hospitality and had higher wages in health care & social assistance, that would be their primary industry.
The distribution of multiple jobholders by gender varied by their primary industry of employment (see Table 5). For example, more than one in four (26.5%) female multiple jobholders were found in health care & social assistance, while fewer than one in 10 (8.4%) male multiple jobholders were found in this same industry. This discrepancy is likely influenced by the large number of women working in relatively low-paying nursing jobs in health care & social assistance (Gagne and Mohondro, 2018).
The greatest numbers of multiple jobholders often were found in industries with lower wages, such as leisure & hospitality and trade, transportation, & utilities (which includes retail trade). The large number of multiple jobholders in educational services likely was due in large part to public school employees who worked other jobs during the summer.
Multiple jobholders accounted for a greater percent of all women with at least one continuous job than men in every industry (see Figure 1). For example, 14.7% of all women working in leisure & hospitality as their primary industry of employment were multiple jobholders, compared to 12.0% of men. As another example, approximately one in 10 women working in public administration (10.1%) were multiple jobholders, compared to 7.6% of men.
The total number of multiple jobholders was nearly identical in 2002Q3 (18,222) and 2021Q3 (18,332). During that period, however, the number of multiple jobholders increased and decreased in response to specific economic events. Over the last 20 years, the number of multiple jobholders in Wyoming largely followed the same trend as the total number of persons working at any time over the year (see Figure 2).
For example, the number of people with more than one job began increasing in 2004Q2, during a time when the state was experiencing rapid, energy-based economic expansion (Moore, 2017) that influenced wages and caused increased costs of living around the state (Jones, 2007). Wyoming experienced an economic downturn from 2009Q1 to 2010Q1 that resulted in a loss of jobs (Moore, 2022b) and, similarly, the number of multiple jobholders declined substantially during that time. The number of multiple jobholders declined during the state’s next economic downturn from 2015Q2 to 2016Q4, but not to the same degree as the previous downturn. This may be due to the fact that job losses during this economic downturn were concentrated in Wyoming’s energy sector, which had relatively few multiple jobholders.
Wyoming’s most recent economic downturn lasted from 2020Q2 to 2021Q1 and was influenced by the coronavirus pandemic, when many businesses temporarily closed or scaled back their operations in response to state restrictions or decreased consumer spending (Knapp, 2022). During this time, the number of multiple jobholders declined markedly. Wyoming’s leisure & hospitality sector lost the greatest number of jobs during this time and, as previously discussed, this industry had a relatively large number of multiple jobholders. During the most recent downturn, the number of multiple jobholders declined more rapidly compared to the overall number of persons working.
Similar patterns related to specific economic events are still obvious when multiple jobholders are broken out by gender. As illustrated in Figure 3, the number of female multiple jobholders remained relatively unchanged from 2015 to 2020, even with the economic downturn that lasted from 2015Q2 to 2016Q4. However, the number of male multiple jobholders steadily declined during that same period. During the downturn from 2020Q2 to 2021Q1, the number of female multiple jobholders rapidly decreased. Despite the changes over the last 20 years, the number of male and female multiple jobholders remained largely unchanged from 2002Q3 to 2021Q3.
Figure 4 shows the number of multiple jobholders in Wyoming from 2001Q4 to 2021Q3 by age. Four-quarter moving averages were used in order to get a better understanding of trends seen over time. There were some striking differences in the way different age groups responded to changes in the economy. For example, multiple jobholders ages 25-34 did not appear to be as affected by the 2009-2010 economic downturn and continued to show increased numbers until the state’s second economic downturn that began in 2015; after that point, the number of multiple jobholders in this age group began declining before dropping drastically in 2020.
Although not as dramatic, a similar pattern was evident for multiple jobholders ages 55 and older. In comparison, while the number of people ages 45-54 with more than one job increased between 2005 and 2009 when the state’s economy was expanding, it began to decrease rapidly during the first economic downturn that began in 2009 and continued through the end of the analysis period. Among multiple jobholders younger than age 20, there appears to have been a steady increase in the number of multiple jobholders through the first economic downturn; that number dropped noticeably before leveling off again and remaining steady between 2010Q2 and 2021Q3.
Many of these trends were not unique to multiple jobholders and were seen among all persons working in Wyoming (Knapp, 2021). In addition to the economic downturns, changes in the demographics of Wyoming's workforce also affected multiple jobholders. For example, the rapid decline in those ages 45-54 may be due to baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) aging into the 55 and older group and fewer workers from the generation X group (those born between 1965 and 1980) to replace them (Moore, 2022a). In addition, the decline in multiple jobholders ages 25-34 since 2016 likely was influenced by the large number of millennials (those born from 1981 to 1996) leaving Wyoming and its workforce (Moore, 2021).
As illustrated in Figure 5, the rate of multiple jobholders in Wyoming varied by county of employment.
As previously mentioned, financial necessity is one reason why people hold multiple jobs. This is supported by data in Table 6, which shows that counties with low wages often had higher rates of multiple jobholders. For example, the statewide average weekly wage for multiple jobholders was $995 in 2021Q3, and 9.0% of all workers with at least one continuous job had multiple jobs. Counties such has Hot Springs and Johnson had lower wages ($807 and $775, respectively) and higher rates of multiple jobholders (12.7% and 12.9%, respectively). In contrast, counties with higher wages tended to have lower rates of multiple jobholders, such as Sweetwater ($1,130 and 8.1%), Campbell ($1,123 and 7.0%), and Laramie ($1,029 and 8.3%).
In general, the characteristics of multiple jobholders in Wyoming mirror those at the national level. Based on data from the state’s Unemployment Insurance Wage Records database, 9.0% of continuously employed workers in Wyoming during 2021Q3 held more than one job, which was similar to the national estimates. Women comprised a larger proportion of these multiple jobholders, and multiple jobholders tended to be younger, with the percentage of multiple jobholders decreasing as workers aged. The largest number of men with multiple jobs worked in industries such as trade, transportation, & utilities, leisure & hospitality, while the greatest number of women with more than one job worked in industries such as health care & social assistance and educational services.
Though the overall number of multiple jobholders had its ups and downs over the last 20 years, it did not change noticeably between the 20 years between 2002Q3 and 2021Q3. The number of female multiple jobholders increased slightly while the number of males decreased slightly. Finally, multiple jobholders in different age groups reacted to different economic changes quite differently from each other during this period.
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Moore, M. (2021, September). Millennials continue to leave Wyoming and its labor market. Wyoming Labor Force Trends, 58(9). Research & Planning, Wyoming DWS. November 15, 2022, from https://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/trends/0921/0921.pdf
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