Thousands of workers hold down more than one job to beat cost of living

WORKING HARD: Shardai McNeill is one of almost 4000 people in Bathurst who work multiple jobs. One of her jobs is in Country Fruit. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 081319cjobs1
WORKING HARD: Shardai McNeill is one of almost 4000 people in Bathurst who work multiple jobs. One of her jobs is in Country Fruit. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 081319cjobs1

PEOPLE are struggling to make ends meet in Bathurst, NSW, with data showing almost twice the number of people are working a second job compared to the state average.

In the Bathurst local government area 3769 people (17.3 per cent of all employed people) work more than one job, data from the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows.

By comparison, 18.8 per cent of people in Dubbo work multiple jobs, this is followed by Orange (18.2 per cent) and Lithgow (14.4 per cent).

The NSW rate is 10.3 per cent of all employed people hold more than one job.

Shardai McNeill, 18, is among those who juggle their time between multiple employers.

She works one job as a pizza delivery driver with Dominos while her other position is at Country Fruit where she has multiple duties including roles as a greengrocer, fish monger and barista.

Then, each year when the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 rolls into town, she takes on a third job working in a food van at Mount Panorama.

"It's the cost of living," Ms McNeill said.

"We don't even live in Sydney but the cost of living is so high.

"This is supposed to be a gap year but it's hard to make ends meet."

Ms McNeill also worked multiple jobs last year when she was completing her high school studies.

"I've been working multiple jobs since I was 17, I did the HSC and I worked two jobs balancing my work and school ... it was pretty challenging," she said.

Ms McNeill would like to go to TAFE and complete hospitality training, but right now she can't afford not to work.

Single father Darren Furniss is recently divorced and may only be working one job right now, but he is on the hunt for a second one.

I work nine days in a row, then have five off to care for my three children every fortnight.

Darren Furniss

"I work nine days in a row, then have five off to care for my three children every fortnight," he said.

Mr Furniss works afternoons and evenings as an assistant in nursing (AIN) in an aged care facility in Bathurst but he is looking for a second job, this time in the disability sector.

"I'm trying to literally not live week to week and save to buy a home," he said.

"I need to save up to be able to have a home for my children."