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Working two-three jobs in America

One Job Is Better Than Two

Millions of Americans have full-time jobs that don’t pay enough to make ends meet. So they have to work a second job, too.

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Ashley Cocchiara works in a union training program for painters at a construction site, left, almost an hour and a half north of her home in Charleroi, Pa. She makes $21.55 an hour. She also pulls shifts as a bartender at social clubs in Charleroi, right, but hopes to stop that to spend more time with her 3-year-old son, Jasper, center.CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

It’s easy for most people to find a job in America on Labor Day 2019. The unemployment rate is very low; store windows are plastered with help wanted signs.

But for millions of Americans, one job is not enough.

Bridget Hughes, 29, works a regular day shift at a Burger King in Kansas City, Mo. Three nights a week, she also works the overnight shift at a nearby McDonald’s. She makes $10 an hour at Burger King and $9.50 an hour at McDonald’s and, together with her husband’s job at a gas station, they manage to feed their three children and to pay the rent.

“When I thought of my future, I thought I was going to be at football games and soccer practices and cheerleading, when in all actuality I’m lucky if I’m home for birthdays,” Ms. Hughes said. “And my children, they think if mommy is at work all the time then we should have the money. But the reality is that I’m at work all the time and I don’t have the money.”

More than eight million people — roughly 5 percent of all workers — held more than one job at a time in July, according to the most recent federal data. The economy has been growing for more than a decade, but their lives offer a reminder that not all Americans are thriving.

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Like Ms. Hughes, most people with multiple jobs worked a full-time job that just didn’t pay enough. Most workers find second jobs in the same industry, but a growing number have taken on “gig” work like driving for Uber.

Daniel Asnake, 49, sleeps in his car after his morning shift as a baggage handler at Reagan National Airport outside Washington, D.C. Then he uses the car to earn as much as $145 a shift as an Uber driver well into the evening. Most days, he leaves home before his two children rise and returns after they have gone to sleep.

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Ashley Cocchiara, 30, hopes to drop her second job soon. Ms. Cocchiara, who lives south of Pittsburgh, landed a spot in a union training program for industrial painters two years ago, and as she racks up hours, her hourly pay is climbing. For now, she still picks up weekend shifts as a bartender in her hometown, to make enough money to care for her 3-year-old son. By next year, she hopes painting will pay enough so she can spend the time with her son instead.

Daniel Asnake

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CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Daniel Asnake, 49, handles baggage at Reagan National Airport, left, outside Washington, D.C., even though a doctor told him not to lift more than 15 pounds because of a spinal injury. After finishing his shift at 12:30 p.m., he takes a nap in his car before driving Uber passengers into the evening, recently ending a shift in Silver Spring, Md., right. The two jobs allow him to support his wife, Hannah Firdawoke, who is disabled, and their two sons, Luel Daniel, 7, and Natnel Daniel, 4, center. But he often goes a week without seeing the boys.

 

Daysy Rodriguez

 

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CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Daysy Rodriguez, 55, outside her home in Elizabeth, N.J., left, supplements her full-time job at a warehouse, center, with part-time work promoting a Latin food company at a Food Bazaar, right. She also works overnight shifts as a home care attendant on weekends. She uses the money from her extra jobs to help her daughter pay her way through college. Her daughter is on pace to graduate next year, and once she does, Ms. Rodriguez plans to cut back on her hours. “I’ll be able to rest my body and mind,” she said. “And I hope that happens soon.”

Rich Berry

 

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CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Rich Berry, 53, at right with one of his two sons, Jared, 20, loves coaching hockey at the State University of New York’s upstate campus in Cortland. But during his 20 years as a state trooper, Mr. Berry was not allowed to be paid to do it. After retiring in 2015, Mr. Berry started drawing a salary from the university, but even with a state pension, he had to work five days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Meldrim’s Paint Center in Cortland, center, and part-time as a deputy for the Cortland County Sheriff’s Department, left, to pay the bills.

Bridget Hughes

 

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CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Bridget Hughes has worked in fast food restaurants since she dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to help her mother pay the bills. Ms. Hughes, 29, works a regular day shift at a Burger King in Kansas City, Mo., left. Three days a week, she sleeps for a few hours and then heads to a nearby McDonald’s, right, for an overnight shift. Her mother, sister and brother help to care for her children, Rae’Aunna, 6, Dezmon, 7 and Tray’Von, 10, center.

Alicia Cleveland

 

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CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Alicia Cleveland, left, works as a nanny for an Atlanta family three days a week, earning $18 an hour. Ms. Cleveland, 41, would like to find a family that needs full-time help; in the meantime, she picks up odd jobs as a babysitter, chauffeuring kids to activities in her Dodge Journey. After dinner and homework with her own three children, Jaida, 9, Jordan, 13 and Jasmine, 16, center, she heads back out to drive for Uber and Lyft, often starting on a trendy strip of restaurants near Georgia State University, right.

Produced by Sarah Eckinger.

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Binyamin Appelbaum joined the Times editorial board in 2019. From 2010 to 2019, he was a Washington correspondent for The Times, covering the Federal Reserve and other aspects of economic policy. He has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in public service. @BCAppelbaum • Facebook

Damon Winter is a staff photographer currently on assignment for Opinion. He received the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.  

A version of this article appears in print on Sept. 2, 2019, Section A, Page 24 of the New York edition with the headline: One Job Is Better Than Two. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/01/opinion/working-two-jobs.html

Yea it’s rough. Cuz some jobs actually make sure you don’t have enough to get full time so you don’t get benefits. Or they stop you from getting overtime hours. Bummer!

I love my cheese. I got to have my cheddar.

This is the only thing I read in the OP.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It be like that sometimes.

I don’t get it, hasn’t it always been so in America?  Isn’t it a good thing that people can find second jobs that help them make ends meet?  My mother worked two jobs, and my father worked every Saturday for the overtime. My brother and I still had to join the army to pay for college. Today all their kids are successful and independent.  Isn’t this the American Dream?  Too many people don’t want to accept that you have to personally sacrifice, and most likely someone somewhere in your family made an enormous sacrifice that you are benefiting from today. 

Your train of thought is literally “My parents had to work extra hours and sacrifice time with their kids, so you need to as well”

You literally had to join the Army to risk your life and (potentially) kill people.

If you enjoyed it, great – genuinely happy for you to live your best life. But if you didn’t like it, and had to personally sacrifice something, why can’t you want a world in which others don’t also need to sacrifice something. Why make others suffer because someone else had to?

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” - Warren Buffett

in any case, its only right that previous generations work harder. they had less tools. in any case, life is definfitely harder now that it was 50 years ago. at the us’s current state, if i was an immigrant, i would not choose the us as inequality has only become a lot worse. the majority work a lot here to basically be poor.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_wealth_per_adult

in any case my views on living and dying in la has drastically changed these last few years. los angeles is a ****hole. how can we pay so much taxes and still have homeless people everywhere. utterly disgusting, but our weather is awesome!

I love my cheese. I got to have my cheddar.

Malee wrote:

I don’t get it, hasn’t it always been so in America?  Isn’t it a good thing that people can find second jobs that help them make ends meet?  My mother worked two jobs, and my father worked every Saturday for the overtime. My brother and I still had to join the army to pay for college. Today all their kids are successful and independent.  Isn’t this the American Dream?  Too many people don’t want to accept that you have to personally sacrifice, and most likely someone somewhere in your family made an enormous sacrifice that you are benefiting from today. 

The problem is both sides of this debate are determined it can only be one or the other when its obviously some of both.  A lot of people are frankly lazy.  I stopped a a turnpike rest stop around Feb in CT during a snow storm on the way to NYC that had a subway, main snack shop and Dunkin, it was like 10pm and employees at all three were just sleeping.  I called out, trying to get a coffee and the dunkin guy just half wakes up, looks at me, then goes back to sleep.  You don’t have to look far to encounter similar versions of this, I’m sure all of these people would complain they aren’t being paid enough, something something UBI.

There is also the point as a former coworker would often state, that back when the one income lifestyle worked, people had one car, one house phone, one small TV with like 3 channels, patched their kids clothes, played board games, rarely ate out or ate steak etc.  So now we have moved the goal line and are spending $500 a month on cellphone bills for the family, two car leases, etc and can’t figure out why its not working.

On the other side, for the large majority of the population, the middle class economics are continuing to deteriorate and it’s creating major follow on social effects.  It’s not rocket surgery to see that there are increasingly large caste like divides that are increasingly more difficult to traverse.  Something is clearly broken.  Who knows, maybe fixing this issue will improve engagement in the population.  I don’t think it’s one or the other though.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

 imo laziness doesnt matter. they are paid that way because they are blue collar and are paid the minimum wage.  in addition americans who make the minimum wage are already overpaid, we literally just have to flood the gates with immigrants., and their true value will prolly be like 2 bucks an hr. (compared to 50 cents in mexico) so even if you were a hard worker you would still be paid that wage, so there just isnt an incentive.

with that said, i mean i dont know how it is for other cities. but at least in la you need a car to get anywhere, but that is the least of your concern.  lets say you make minimum wage at 15 an hr or roughly 40k since most will do 2 jobs 50 hrs all in. anyways here’s your 3 biggest costs annually.

8k goes to taxes. fed, state, fica

15k goes to rent/utility. (****ty studio)

10k goes to car (****ty car) 350 bucks per month.

5k goes to food (ok food)

anyways this is the budget of a basic ass dude.  

I love my cheese. I got to have my cheddar.

Nerdyblop wrote:

 imo laziness doesnt matter. they are paid that way because they are blue collar and are paid the minimum wage. 

I mean it definitely matters, lots of blue collar people get paid well.  Plumbers make more than the average UCLA grad.

This budget made no sense to me, can you do the detailed analysis where you broke out $100 or whatever it was?

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

i’ve played ball with a plumber before. they dont get paid much. he made 35k with 2 yrs exp. in la thats  2 bucks more than minimum wage.

I love my cheese. I got to have my cheddar.

 2 people

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

Nerdyblop wrote:

i’ve played ball with a plumber before. they dont get paid much. he made 35k with 2 yrs exp. in la thats minimum wage.

He must have been lazy.  Probably couldn’t even dunk.  

https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/plumber/salary

US news says the bottom 25% percentile NATION WIDE for plumbers is $39k, you should not be seen with this guy Nerdy.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

well that kind of makes sense. he is like 20. in any case its nothing in la. thats literally a full time minimum wage. a 15 yo could make that much in mcd

more importantly, can you dunk? lol cuz i definitely cant. too short at 5’8.

I love my cheese. I got to have my cheddar.

Nerdyblop wrote:

well that kind of makes sense. he is like 20. in any case its nothing in la. thats literally a full time minimum wage. a 15 yo could make that much in mcd

more importantly, can you dunk? lol cuz i definitely cant. too short at 5’8.

It depends on the rim height.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

bruh. its always 10 ft. i will say i sometimes go to elemtnary schools with buddies and justt start dunking on courts. haha

I love my cheese. I got to have my cheddar.

Nerdyblop wrote:

bruh. its always 10 ft. i will say i sometimes go to elemtnary schools with buddies and justt start dunking on courts. haha

Not when I’m dunking it isn’t.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

Schopenhauer wrote:

Your train of thought is literally “My parents had to work extra hours and sacrifice time with their kids, so you need to as well”

You literally had to join the Army to risk your life and (potentially) kill people.

If you enjoyed it, great – genuinely happy for you to live your best life. But if you didn’t like it, and had to personally sacrifice something, why can’t you want a world in which others don’t also need to sacrifice something. Why make others suffer because someone else had to?

Of course IF it is possible to achieve social mobility or financial independence without unnecessary sacrifice then that is good and I want that.  I don’t want people to make unnecessary sacrifices just because I did.  We are all influenced by our experiences, and what I saw growing up in low income neighborhoods in new york city, in the army, and now on wall street…is that you cannot want something for other people unless they want it for themselves.  Good public schools, welfare programs, even ROTC, these are gifts from the public to less fortunate members of the public to help them help themselves.  That’s why to this day I skew slightly liberal, – although by Water Cooler standards I am just to the left of Bernie. 

Even for you Schopenhauer, someone down the line took a big risk, they left their home in Westphalia, boarded a boat in Hamburg and set off for the US not knowing what to expect.  Because of their sacrifice, today you live in US, are highly educated, and have a good job and good life.