Multiple Jobholders Surge To Highest Since August 2008

Tyler Durden's picture

As we noted earlier, while the headline payrolls print blew away consensus estimates, printing above the highest expectations, there was a rather unpleasant number in the data: nominal average hourly wages actually dipped by 1 cent to $25.24. 

What caused this? There are three reasons.

First: the continued surge of minimum wage jobs, as seen in the chart below, which shows that in December another 36,900 minimum wage waiters and bartenders were added to the labor force, bringing the total to a new record high of 11.3 million.


Putting this in context, here is a chart showing the relative addition of waiter, bartender jobs in 2015 vs high-paying manufacturing jobs. No comment necessary.


And longer-term chart: since December 2007.


Second: a troubling finding from the report was the continued surge in temp-help workers. In fact, as the BLS admitted, while employment in professional and business services increased by 73,000 in December, temporary help services accounting for nearly half, or 34,000, of the gain. As the chart below shows, jumping the 34K jump in December brought the number of temp-worker to a new all time high.


Third: the most troubling aspect of today's jobs report, and perhaps the clearest explanation why there was no wage growth in December, is that the number of multiple job holders soared by 324,000 bringing the total to 7.738 million. This was the highest since August 2008, which as a reminder is the month before the great financial crisis started.


And, as Lakshman Achuthan shows, "people need multiple jobs to make ends meet"

So yes: jobs grew, and yet the BLS itself admits that of the 290,000 job additions, more than all came from 1 worker who had to work 2 or more jobs.

End result: average hourly wages declined from $25.25 to $25.24.

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Shocker's picture

So you need 2 jobs now, great improvement.

Sad times

Job Situation:


Oracle of Kypseli's picture

I bet a person with 2 jobs counts as two jobs created.

Racer's picture

And don't count the hundreds of others who gave up looking for a job after that lucky sod nabbed the only two part time ones!

Next to Arch Stanton's picture

And what about the temp jobs - when someone moves on to the next gig (within same year probably), BLS notches another "job gained"?  

OrangeJews's picture

And the turnover!  I'm always seeing new people at businesses.

Rainman's picture

* sigh * ... another day, another job, another penny in the hole.

NoDebt's picture

If you were an employer (and I have been in the past) wouldn't you do everything in your power to NEVER hire another full time worker (i.e. with benefits) again?

I wouldn't get anywhere near that quagmire.  Sure, you may pay them only $25K a year but they cost you double that in health benefits, taxes, regulatory compliance, etc.  To be honest, it's cheaper just to let them stay on EBT/Food Stamps/Welfare the rest of their lives.

lunaticfringe's picture

That's a fact and getting worse. Unemployment and workmens comp is just another government imposed tax.

FreeNewEnergy's picture

I used to be an employer. Had between 2 and 16 full time people as my business grew from 1982-1987. The regulatory and filing burdens then were onerous and so complex that I hired Paychex to do all the accounting for payroll as it was cheaper than hiring a part-time bookkeeper.

Now, that was 30 years ago, ancient history, and I haven't been an employer since. I shudder to think what a complete morass it is now.

With Obamacare killing the private sector, I don't know how anybody can hire full time. I'm expecting layoffs to acclerate as the year 2016 drags on.

More Ammo's picture

I think walmart stole your idea...

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

Much of your minimum expense needed to get by is a direct or indirect result of government laws.  You are forced to have a mortgage or lease, while the housing market is manipulated by crony capitalism.  You are forced to have health insurance, while the health care system is manipulated by crony capitalism.  At the end of the day, if a single person living in a median type of city works their ass off for 40 hours per week, they should be able to cover those forced expenses.  If that is not possible, the government needs to raise the minimum wage or they are headed for some social unrest.

RiverRoad's picture

The globalist-elites over there in Davos are high-fivin' at those numbers.

yogibear's picture

Know of a few people working at a nursing home as CNAs that have to have 2 jobs to survive.

Watch for lies to get really outragious this year as the libtards push Hillary into office.

LawsofPhysics's picture

"Watch for lies to get really outragious this year as the BILDERBERGS push Hillary into office." -- fixed it for you.

new game's picture

lies for cog dis believers that are clueless, there fixed it for ya-wanted to include the super majority, hate to leave anyone out, ha....

potemcam's picture

So let me get this straight, a one cent move on $25.24 is a 'dip', while a $10 move on the $1090 price of gold is a 'surge?'

Seems like ZH has a real issue with the concept of a 'statistically insignificant move.'

Gold's price move from an $1800 handle to a $1000 handle is a dip. This one cent move in wages is not.


LawsofPhysics's picture

The fundamental issue/problem with the entire planet today is twofold IMO;

1) failure to allow real consequences for BAD BEHAVIOR at all levels of society


2) a select few useless fucking paper-pushers that have access to all the free money (ZIRP/NIRP) that they want.

No matter, such "let the majority eat cake" monetary experiments have been tried before, the outcome will be no different this time around.

Hubbs's picture

It's very simple actually. Paper pushers have all the rest of productive members of society growing and transporting their food, providing their shelter, making their clothes, running their ultilities, paving their roads, making theircars, removing their garbage, etc-doing everything so that they have time to  screw over/steal from the very people that are supporting them in the first place.


Not only are the working class the productive members of society, they are the unwitting ultimate enablers.



SheepDog-One's picture

A 1 cent hourly wage drop....there's no way they could accurately gauge that.

Hubbs's picture

I am tired of this " increases in waiters and bartenders" crap.


If the economy is shrinking, then people can't afford to be going out to eat and drink, and waiters and bartenders numbers should be decreasing as well.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Well, some people have even more access to FREE money (ZIRP), trust me, they have no problem spending even more...

Jstanley011's picture

Don't forget the government workers who are a quarter of the work force. With the doubling the national debt every two terms under Clinton-Bush-Obama ($5-$10-$20 trillion), they're doing fine. It's nice work, if you can get it, when your employer has a gun to the head of the productive to extract the money to pay your salary.

Likewise with the crony captitalists...

Doubleguns's picture

Yes and those who do not work have plenty of time to eat and drink on the taxpayers dime. 

More Ammo's picture

"Likewise with the crony captitalists..." (sic)


I don't like this term "crony capitalist" as it has connotations of legitimacy and is actually a PC euphemism for criminal activity.

What would be a more correct term? mobsters? cartels? extortionists?

Eyeroller's picture

Depends on what kind of restaurant you go to, I suppose.

I asked a work colleague why the restaurants were full to capacity every time I drove by them.  Her answer: "Olive Garden has all you can eat soup, salad, and breadsticks for $6.99. If you order water to drink and don't leave a tip, it's cheaper than cooking at home."

Jstanley011's picture

Yep. And the number of workers who eat there as well as work is not insignificant at the margins.

Rentenmark's picture

Living in mom's basement doesn't cost a dime, so all that "disposable" income can go to iphones, leased mini-SUVs, and jager bombs at the bar.

Ms No's picture

They should just get rid of whatever benefit triggers/laws these guys are avoiding once an employee is full time (40 hours). They are just going to screw us on transportation costs as we drive all over the city to our 3 jobs.

Let me know when it's guillotine time. 

gatorengineer's picture

I can't wrap my brain around an average wage of 25 dollars an hour in a service e con omy....  Never noticed it was that high before I frankly cant believe it. I would buy 15 to 18 but 25?  Takes a shitload of high paying jobs to average out food and retail workers up to 25.  Not buying it for a second.  It also doesn't hang with half the population makes 30k or less.  Would be interesting to know what they say the median wage is.

NEOSERF's picture

Multiple job holder jobs surge in November/December due to parents trying to work 2 jobs to pay for Christmas presents for the kids and the relative seasonal availalbiilty of those jobs...expect a corrapse in January/Feb, especially if the weather turns.

Eyeroller's picture

And don't forget those January credit card statements...

Rentenmark's picture

I seem to recall that the talking heads would say that consistent 280k jobs meant the economy was expanding.  So if most people now need 2 jobs, does this mean the number should be 560k??  If that's true, then ummm, this is not very good.  But, I'll buy stocks today just to be safe :)  

Janet Shalom Bernanke's picture

The Fed Board members should start looking for their second jobs too, because the American people are going to wake-up and fire them from their first job (which is to actively destroy the U.S. financial system).



MarcusAurelius's picture

Well pre 2008 this was the case too. Low unemployment, high debt and people working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet. So what has changed? fact it is worse because you have more structural debt to go with it. Going to raise rates? Good luck with that one. 

new game's picture

the problems isn't finding a job, it is finding a job that rewards your abilities and skills to compensate a mean standard of living. hard skilled work for a liveable wage.

i was machinist 35 years ago making 11/hr. now the same cnc machining job pays 20- 25/hr.

i think this is true for all the trades. marginalized by supply/demand.

factor in inflation and u get the picture...

a home was 70-80 k then - now triple plus. ect. ect.

we obliously need moar china imports and moar immigrants to fill all these jobs.

what we do need is a corporate tax on anything manufactured outside of merica and brought in and sold- apple? ha. avoid tarrifs, but a two tier corp tax to discourage outsourcing. trumpty dump, ha again. and i know the fascist representatives will never consider this solution, so ha fucking ha to those bastards too...

I AM SULLY's picture

Yeah ...

(shorts will be butt raped today)

kinley's picture

During my father's generation, EVERY household generally had one person working to support that household, usually the man of the house. Today, in half of the households NO ONE WORKS. In the other half of the households, TWO PEOPLE must WORK just to make ends meet, and these same people must hold multiple jobs. Because they earn money, they must pay high taxes, which ultimately supports the non-working households via government programs.

paint it red call it hell's picture

Now gather around all you northern europeans and sing a stanza of "Come save us, OH MOTHER EU!"

csmith's picture

The people holding multiple jobs are the ones propping up the entire economy. They should be treated to a much more lenient tax regime. As soon as you take a second job, your tax rate on your first job should be cut in half, or your second job earnings should not be taxed at all. Instead,we have crazy benefit/"entitlement" laws that encourage malingering. FUBAR. 

cordial savage's picture

A whole $0.01?!?!  How can people live???  That's roughly $20 a year depending on the number of hours worked!

Thanks for covering what counts, ZH.  This is hot garbage.

cordial savage's picture

I'd love to see that chart on multiple job holders going back to the 70's and 80's.  Maybe there was a time that this was more common.  

YouThePeople's picture

I work 4 part-time jobs and am able to pool 50-60 hours a week at about 9 bucks an hour.

My neighbors who don't work at all, and won't work at all, have benefits coming out of their ears.

They always have plenty of smokes, red bulls, lottery tickets, new i-phone, and nice car.

10 years ago I made $70,000 a year. Those days are gone. I have joined the ranks with millions

of others in the new working poor. My neighbors think I'm an idiot for not sitting back for the free ride.

I remind them it is my tax dollars that pay for their redbull and that makes them feel warm and fuzzy.

FreeShitter's picture

I applaud your desire and hustle, but just remember there's always a position waiting here for you in the Free Shit Army. 

edifice's picture

In healthcare, my industry, it's basically a bunch of massive shell companies controlling hospital groups. 1/3 of it is outsourced, while 1/2 of the company's actual employees are temp workers. These days, you temp first, and if you work out, you MIGHT get hired. MAYBE. 

jcdenton's picture

I have skin in this game ..


Single, no kids, beginning at age 40+


2002 - salary 50k+ w/ full benies, own home (4BDR), new truck, new boat, raw invest land, gas $1

2004 - salary 30k+ w/ full benies, apt. (1BDR), lost home, lost boat, liquid land, gas $2

2006 - salary 40k+ w/ full benies, apt. (1BDR), gas $3 (liquid stocks

2008 - salary 40k+ w/ full benies, apt (1BDR), gas $4

2010 - salary 20k+ no benies, apt (1BDR), gas $3

2012 - salary 20k+ no benies, apt (1BDR), gas $4 (10k+ in bank)

2014 - salary 5k+ no benies, live w/ parents, gas $3 (lost bank acct; parent's gas card)

2016 - salary 1k-, lost dad (died), live w/ mother, gas $2


- age 55+

- have not full-time perm job since summer 2012

- closed bank acct '13 after 30+ years

- laid off/ RIF 3 times w/ full severance since summer '02 to summer '12

- RIF spring '15 from part-time w/ no severance

- since '02 all same industry [IT] in Texas [primarily Austin and Houston]

- way too many heart breaking interviews beginning in summer '08 to present to list

- starting own biz w/ present compliance unthinkable; did attempt mutli times

- to retrain self in different industry / career next to impossible (self funding w/o govt. assist)


So, forgive me if after looking at all possible alternatives I see the following as our only hope. This is no panacea. We have much catharsis to endure even together with the following remedy ..