The number of women with multiple jobs has continued to increase despite a modest two year fall in the hours worked by Aussies. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated that 955,600 Australians worked multiple jobs in September, a small decrease of 0.8 per cent from the June quarter. An estimated 6.6 per cent of the workforce is holding more than one form of employment – down from its historical high of 6.7 per cent. Indeed senior economist Callam Pickering said while the figure decreased it was still above the historical 5 to 6 per cent range pre-pandemic. “Cost-of-living pressures have likely forced some Australians to take on additional work to keep their head above water,” he said. While the overall rate fell, the number of women working multiple jobs increased to a new high of 7.9 per cent. For men, it decreased, down to 5.9 per cent. Head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis noted the trend had only increased in recent quarterly data. “Working multiple jobs continues to be more common for women … It’s currently around one in every 13 employed women, compared to one in 18 employed men,” he said. The three industries with the highest number of secondary jobs were Health care and social assistance, Administrative and support services, and Education and training. However, the total number of hours actually worked decreased by 39.6 million hours (0.7%) to 5.9 billion hours in September. Mr Jarvis said it was the first decline since lockdown measures were introduced to slow the spread of the delta variant of Covid two years ago. But the slide doesn’t mean Australia is going backwards in hours worked, he said. “The … fall follows a period of strong growth in hours worked, with annual growth still high at 4.2 per cent,” Mr Jarvis said. “That is still faster than we have seen in past Labour Account data that goes back to the September quarter 1994.” It comes as the number of job vacancies remains around 85 per cent higher than before the pandemic, with 418,400 jobs vacant in the September quarter. Mr Pickering said this was “still almost twice as high as it’s average from 2010 to 2019”.