Why more Wollongong people are working multiple jobs

Wollongong woman Abbey Blackmore works five jobs, and is looking for a sixth - just so she can pursue her dream and do more than just survive financially.

Three of her jobs are in hospitality, one is in online network marketing and the other is singing, dancing, acting and commercial castings with a talent agency in Sydney.

She also teaches musical theatre, and is currently looking for an additional job.

"About four months ago I moved out of home and I now have rent and food and have to pay off my car loan," she said.

"And I have a dog and I also like to treat myself."

Ms Blackmore said if she still lived at home she would not need to work so many hours, but she is very keen to support herself.

Self support: Abbey Blackmore already works five jobs and is about to work a sixth so she can not only survive financially but treat herself as much as possible. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Self support: Abbey Blackmore already works five jobs and is about to work a sixth so she can not only survive financially but treat herself as much as possible. Picture: Greg Ellis.

She is one of a growing number of workers in the Illawarra who are juggling multiple jobs, a new report has showed.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released a detailed snapshot of jobs and employment in the Wollongong local government area that shows the medium income per employee in the city is close to the state average.

The medium income for Wollongong employees was $43,600 in 2016-17 compared to $43,795 for NSW.

The latest statistics also showed that one in six people (15.4 per cent) employed in the city work multiple jobs, and that women are more likely than men to hold more than one job.

The number of multiple job holders grew 11.2 per cent in one year and 16 per cent over six years.

The number of women doing more than one job (8987) increased 13.4 per cent in 2016/17 compared to the number of men in multiple jobs which rose 8.6 per cent to 7596.

Over a six-year period the multiple job growth was 16 per cent overall, 14.6 per cent for men and 17.2 per cent for women.

An ABS spokesperson said "changes in multiple job holders could be for a number of reasons, such as the availability of hours or income from a person's main job".

"But it also might be the result of an increasing desire for greater flexibility, or the result of people starting their own businesses."

There were similar results at the state level, showing the number of people working in more than one job across NSW is rising.

Passionate employee: Keirin McCormack likes variety, flexibility and doing things she is passionate about. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Passionate employee: Keirin McCormack likes variety, flexibility and doing things she is passionate about. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Wollongong woman Keirin McCormack prefers to work multiple jobs because she is able to work remotely and use different skills in each role.

"There are probably many others like me who don't necessarily have to be in one particular place," she said.

"For me it is about doing things I am passionate about and that I am really interested in.

"I have a particular interest in giving back to the community which is reflected in the types of projects and groups I work with such as Hidden Harvest which I am very, very lucky to be able to work with."

Ms McCormack also performs a part-time role as executive officer with The Illawarra Connection networking organisation, freelances in communications and social media and volunteers for several groups.

She said if she was to go back to working one job, it would require a change in mindset.

"I would never rule it out but at the moment I am really enjoying the flexibility and the challenge of being able to work on a range of different projects," she said.

"I think the reality for many people who prefer to work in multiple roles is it is often project-based work."

Wollongong jobs - in numbers

  • The ABS said the number of jobs overall in Wollongong grew 5.1 per cent in one year to 148,097 for 2016/17. And 9.2 per cent in six years.
  • The number of jobs held by men grew 4.3 per cent and for women by 6.9 per cent.
  • During the past six years the number of jobs grew 9.2 per cent. There was a 6.1 per cent increase in the male workforce and 11.7 per cent rise in the number of jobs held by women.
  • More than 70 per cent of jobs in Wollongong were in the private sector. With ABS data showing the healthcare and social assistance industry as the biggest employer, followed by education and training.
  • "The professional and scientific industry experienced the highest jobs growth rate during 2016-17, followed by public administration and safety. However, when we look at the longer term growth, the health care and social assistance industry has recorded high jobs growth, followed by jobs in the accommodation and food industry," the spokesperson said.
  • "Manufacturing jobs in Wollongong have declined by 2.6 per cent during the 2016-17 year, and by 12.5 per cent in the five year period to 2016-17. Breaking that down further, there was a decline of over 300 jobs in primary metal and metal product manufacturing during the 2016-17 year."
  • The NSW Jobs in Australia "Spotlights by LGA" is a first time report.
  • It showed 46.1 per cent of jobs in Wollongong were for organisations with more than 200 employees. And 18.8 per cent were in organisations with between 20 and 199 employees.
  • And that the split between men and women was relatively even with men accounting for 52.1 per cent of the workforce and women 47.9 per cent.
  • More females than males had jobs in age brackets below 24.
  • And the average age of employed people in Wollongong was 40.5 years.

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This story Why more Wollongong residents are working multiple jobs first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.