Hobby jobs strike right note for aspiring entrepreneurs

May 12 2002 by Brian Amble Print This Article

The growth in the number of people with second jobs has far outstripped the increase in the amount of people in employment over the past 17 years, new figures released on May 10 reveal.

While the number of employed people has risen by 18% since 1984, the number of workers with second jobs has increased by a huge 68% - 1.1 million people in employment had a second job in 2001, 670,000 of which were women.

Part time workers are almost three times as likely to have a second job, with women in part-time positions claiming a 38% increase in second job take-up since 1984, claims the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Market Trends report.

Up to 1993, the number of part-time workers with second jobs was higher for men than for women. However, eight per cent of part-time female workers now have a second job compared to 7.5% of men.

The reasons for this shift in numbers could be many, John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) told HR gateway today, but Government incentives and a desire for flexibility doubtless play a part, he believes:

”Part-time work has become much more lucrative with the incentives such as tax credits and the National Minimum Wage pushing up earnings. There is also the fact that women have trouble entering the full-time market and so may be taking two part-time jobs to try and create a full wage with flexible hours”, he said.

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) agrees with Philpott and says that the figures are a reflection of women’s desire for a more flexible working environment:

”Women are trying to find jobs that can fit in around their children or families. The figures seem to reflect this. Employers need to work at making workplaces for flexible and allow women the chance to enter full-time work instead of having to struggle with two jobs,” an EOC spokesperson told HR Gateway today.

The figures also showed, much to the Government’s delight, that the UK is becoming more entrepreneurial.

Self-employed status was more prevalent in second jobs than in first, showing that ‘hobby jobs’ are alive and well - 26% of all second jobs were self-employed.

”It seems as if hobby jobs are one way in which people are finding ways of working flexibly. Many in the UK are testing the water to see if they can turn a hobby into a business so that they can dictate their own hours,” said John Philpott.