Side hustles are twice as prevalent as government data suggests, indicating that more Americans must work multiple jobs to meet ends amid historically high inflation.

According to the latest work-from-home survey conducted by economists including Stanford University’s Nicholas Bloom, nearly 10% of workers reported having a main job plus at least one other side gig. By contrast, the January employment report showed 8 million, or about 5% of U.S. workers, had multiple jobs, according to the Labor Department.

Despite a strong labor market underscored by historically low unemployment and solid wage gains – which, for some workers, are finally outpacing inflation – the cost of living is still a huge financial strain for many Americans. That’s leading them to load up on credit cards and tap into savings to make ends meet, and, in some cases, pick up another paycheck.

The Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes has collected more than 100,000 responses since May 2020. Bloom, along with researchers Jose Maria Barrero and Steven J. Davis, are the authors of the 2021 National Bureau of Economic Research working paper “Why working from home will stick.”

The survey also found:

– Days worked from home dropped to 27.2% in January, from a peak of 61.5% at the height of the pandemic. While the share has dipped slightly in recent months, Covid-19 is estimated to have permanently increased WFH by the equivalent of almost 40 years of pre-pandemic growth.

– 13% of full-time employees are fully remote, 59% are full-time on-site, and 28% are in a hybrid arrangement

– Employers are extending less flexibility. On average, employees can now work from home 2.2 days per week, down from 2.3 days in the middle of last year.

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