Cost of living: Workers taking on extra jobs just to make ends meet a 'sign of the times' - expert

As the cost of living crisis continues to hit people's back pockets, some are being forced into taking extra jobs on top of full-time work just to make ends meet.

Professor Gail Pacheco, director of the NZ Work Research Institute at Auckland University of Technology, told The Project that data shows around 7 percent of workers hold multiple jobs.

"Typically we assume this is going to only be part-time workers, so those working less than 30 hours a week, but we found that around 5 percent of full-time workers also reported they wanted more hours," she said.

While a second job may ease some financial pressures, it could mean a lot more life stress. Jarrod Haar, a professor of management at Massey University, said people taking on additional jobs is "just the sign of the times".

"The cost of living is so high, people who are struggling on their first job are now having to look to pick up a second job," he told The Project.

"And, of course, that's quite a complicated thing because juggling two jobs, even if the second one's only 10 hours, maybe it's 20 hours, that's hard work on top of a full-time job."

But Prof Haar said the problem with a second job is that, given the current high cost of living, money from it is only going to pay the groceries and utility bills rather than going towards a holiday.

Another issue with taking on extra work, he said, is people will become exhausted and be unable to do any of their jobs.

"I do think people will be thinking it's short-term, but already you kind of get the feeling that things could carry on for another six months," he said.

"If you're doing a whole full-time job plus another one, I think that will be sustainable for no more than maybe the rest of the year, and then people will just be exhausted."

Also, living somewhere like Auckland means your work won't be right next door - people will have to drive long distances and sit in traffic to get from job to job.

"Then I'm travelling longer, I'm working more hours, I get more tired. I come to work and I'm not feeling my best, I am a bit tired and exhausted, and so I start to underperform in the first job while probably just doing an okay job in the second one," Prof Haar said.

He said even minimum wage isn't enough to get by.

"It's very easy for people to say, 'Just reduce your costs', but for those people on minimum wage … even with all those minimum wage rises, which have been good for those low-paid workers, they still don't earn enough money," he said.

Watch Professor Jarrod Haar on The Project above.