Millions of Britons take second jobs to cope with soaring cost of living, report says

People are struggling as costs rise across all areas, including bills, fuel and food

Kate Ng
Tuesday 27 September 2022 08:36 BST
How will the plunge of the pound affect the cost of living crisis?

New research has found that 5.2m workers in the UK have been forced to take on extra jobs to keep up with the cost of living crisis.

A report by insurer Royal London found that millions of Britons have already taken on second or multiple jobs, with an additional 10m planning to do the same.

Royal London’s research, seen by the BBC, found that one job is not enough for many people as rising costs continue to hit livelihoods hard.

The insurer surveyed 4,000 UK adults at the end of August and found that 16 per cent of workers have taken on an additional job to make ends meet.

An additional 30 per cent said they will need to do the same if costs continue to increase.

In August, figures from the Office for National Statistics found that real wages fell at a record rate between April and June as inflation slashed the value of workers’ pay.

Soaring costs for gas, electricity, fuel, food and other goods pushed the overall inflation rate to 9.4 per cent.

The British pound also suffered a big hit as it slumped to the lowest level against the US dollar after the new Chancellor announced his mini-Budget – which has led to warnings that the price of imported foods could rise further.

But working more hours is not feasible for a number of UK workers, with more than a quarter (28 per cent) of full-time employees already working more than 48 hours a week.

The research found that of those, a fifth say they are working more than 56 hours a week.

However, of those who have taken on additional hours or jobs, many are still struggling to make ends meet.

Nearly a third (31 per cent) of those surveyed said they are having to borrow or use their bank overdraft to cover bills and other costs.

Sarah Pennells, consumer finance specialist at Royal London, told the broadcaster: “We know that many households start reining in their spending six months ago as costs first started to rise, but with bills continuing to climb, it could be an incredibly tough winter ahead.

“While many have resorted to making significant spending adjustments, others, despite working all the house they can, just can’t keep their heads above water.”

Royal London’s research showed that while more than half (64 per cent) of adults say they are overwhelmed by the rising costs, nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) have no reached out to anyone for help.

Elsewhere, a separate survey by debt charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) found that people are cutting back on their social lives to save money, with more than a third (37 per cent) saying they have cut out socialising and leisure activities.

Royal London recommends contacting your energy provider if paying your energy bills is proving to be a struggle, or Citizens Advice if a plan can’t be agreed upon.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in