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April 2002     Vol. 3, no. 4

Duration of multiple jobholding

Katherine Marshall

  • Between 1993 and 1999, approximately 1 in 10 employed persons held two or more jobs at the same time (for a period of at least 15 days) at least once during the course of a year.
  • Of the 1.3 million multiple jobholders in 1996, 40% ended this work arrangement within 6 months, 17% between 7 and 12 months, 32% between 13 and 48 months, while 12% continued past four years. The median duration of ended multiple jobholding spells was 8 months.
  • Short- (6 months or less) and long-term (three years or more) multiple jobholders differed considerably. Long-term were older (40 versus 27), more likely to be married (75% versus 46%), more likely to be self-employed in at least one of their jobs (62% versus 23%), and less likely to be attending school.
  • Although long-term multiple jobholders had the highest annual earnings of all other groups (including single jobholders), they also had the longest work schedule—48 hours per week compared with 38 hours for single jobholders, and 31 hours for short-term multiple jobholders. On an hourly basis, average earnings were highest for single jobholders ($13.10), second highest for long-term multiple jobholders ($11.45), and lowest for short-term multiple jobholders ($7.20).


Katherine Marshall is with the Labour and Household Surveys Analysis Division. She can be reached at (613) 951-6890 or

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