Before the COVID-19 Pandemic, the thought of overemployment was just that, a thought. But, during the pandemic, overemployment came across many peoples TikTok page. According to a Yahoo Finance article, “Americans Are Choosing to Be ‘Over-Employed’ Instead of Working Back-to-Back Jobs”, written by Dawn Allcot defines overemployment as when “employees who work from home… take on two (or more) jobs during regular working hours. These full-time employees work just 40 hours per week, while, essentially, collecting two full-time paychecks from two different employers.”
When it comes to how many people consider themselves overemployed, the numbers are very scarce because this isn’t something that people want to openly come out and admit that they are doing because they risk being fired from their jobs for doing so. There is data that we can point to however about how many people are working more than one job. According to the same Yahoo article, the Bureau of Labor Statistics did a survey in August of 2022 and found that 7.5 million workers, which translates to about 5% of the labor force, are working more than one job. Overemployment has gained steam on TikTok where according to the Yahoo article the #overemployed has more than 4.3 million views at the time the article was written. What this data shows is that the topic of overemployment has gained enough steam where it has gone viral on TikTok, making people wonder what exactly overemployment is. When doing a quick search in TikTok for overemployment, I came across someone who said that his friend was able to buy a Tesla because he works two full time jobs. Another person shared how they work three jobs and 25 hours a week and are making over $600,000 a year doing so.
There are many people who have different viewpoints when it comes to overemployment. In a Forbes article written by Chris Westfall titled “Troubling Trend of Overemployment: Can a Side Hustle Get You Fired?”, they put in a quote by Canopy CEO Davis Bell where he says “Whenever I read stories in the media about people doing this [overemployment] I’m usually surprised that they don’t make a bigger deal of the core moral issues at play: ‘working’ two full-time jobs is stealing, and it also involves a great deal of lying and deception.” However, workers disagree. According to “The Pros and Cons of Overemployment”, one of the most influential aspects that make people overemploy themselves is they can increase their pay without sacrificing their free time and can also save twice as much for Retirement. Personally, I am all for people making money, but I believe that people should be open, honest, and upfront with their employers if they are working two jobs. If you don’t do this, you can run the risk of being let go from both jobs. There are many different arguments about why and why not unemployment should be a thing. Unsurprisingly, CEOs don’t like it and employees love it because of the financial benefits.
In all, overemployment has taken on a lot of steam since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic. In an economy where inflation is so high, people are resorting to working a second or sometimes third job just to make ends meet. Where overemployment goes from here is anyone’s guess, I think we will see more companies track down overemployment in their workplace to make sure their employees are doing the best work they can.