The Occupational Classes: Not All Jobs are Created Equal – Number of Jobs Edition

The sixth piece in our series exploring the characteristics of creative and service occupational classes considers the proportions and outcomes of workers who move from one job to another or hold two jobs at the same time.

Exhibit 1: Number of Jobs by Occupational Classes

The ‘share’ row depicts the proportion of multiple jobholders in each class (either 1 job or 2 or more jobs). Income, hours worked, and wages are only for the primary job, the job at which the most hours were worked in the reported year. They are not the total of all jobs worked. About 80% of creatives have only one job and, similarly, about 80% (78.3) of service workers have only one job. In both occupational classes, single jobholders receive a greater share of the income than multiple jobholders. However, creative class workers with one job earn approximately double that of service class workers with one job. Also, in examining hours worked, service class workers who have two or more jobs work the least amount of hours in a given week (24.3 hours) at their primary job while service class workers who are single jobholders work above the service class average. Interestingly, and what could explain this decrease in hours worked, is that service class workers with two or more jobs are the most likely of any of the four working situations presented, to be working part-time voluntary.

However, it should also be noted that in this chart, the column “2+” jobs might be misleading. This is because some of the respondents who are counted as being 2 or more job-holders may actually just have held multiple jobs successively (rather than simultaneously) over the course of the reference year (2007–2008); effectively working one job at a time.

The following tables further break down workers who fall under “multiple” job-holding (2 or more) into two groups: those who held multiple jobs in succession between 2007–2008 (“multi”) — i.e. one job from January–March and another job from April–December — and those who held multiple jobs at the same time (“simultan”) — i.e. two jobs from January–December.

Exhibit 2: Creative Class – Successive Jobs

Exhibit 2 tells us that 10.98% of the creative class held multiple jobs over the reference year, while 8.63% held multiple jobs at the same time (simultaneously). Workers who held multiple jobs simultaneously worked a similar amount of hours to multiple jobholders (31.5:35.8).

Exhibit 3: Creative Class – One Job

Exhibit 3 shows that single job holders in the creative class worked more hours on average than both types of multiple job holders (perhaps a counter-intuitive finding) and made more income (wage). In both occupational groups, being a single-full time jobholder is preferable to alternatives (on average).

Exhibit 4: Service Class – Successive Jobs

Exhibit 4 shows that 12.88% of the service class held multiple jobs over the course of the reference year, while 8.84% of the service class held multiple jobs simultaneously. This value is much lower than we expected, as the literature is full of examples of the high turnover in the service class and frequency of multiple-jobholding to compensate for low wages or not enough hours (or both).

Exhibit 5: Service Class – One Job

Exhibit 5 describes the dynamics of service class workers who hold one job. Single jobholders make more income than multiple jobholders. Similar to our finding with the service class, single job-holders (on average) take home a greater income. One difference between the classes is that multiple job-holding service workers (but not simultaneous) manage to work (on average) the same amount of hours (weekly) as a single job-holder in the service class (40). Service class workers with simultaneous jobs work (on average) 25 hours per week, which suggests that they might take on additional work to supplement their earnings.

Overall, we find that 1,190 of the creative class that we initially measured actually held successive jobs in the reference year (one job at a time), and that a similar proportion of the service class is in the same boat (1,390). 8.6% of the creative class held 2 or more jobs concurrently and that 8.8% of the service class held multiple jobs concurrently.

Next week, we will conclude this comparative series with a summary piece that surveys all of the insights contained throughout the series.

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The Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management is the world’s leading think-tank on the role of sub-national factors—location, place and city-regions—in global economic prosperity. We take an integrated view of prosperity, looking beyond economic measures to include the importance of quality of place and the development of people’s creative potential.