Germany: More and more people work multiple jobs

Over 3 million people in Germany work more than one job, many because of financial difficulties. Opposition politicians are calling for a raise to the minimum wage.

The number of people in Germany working a second job rose nearly 4% in the space of a year, according to figures from the Federal Employment Agency. They were revealed in response to a Left party request and cited by the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Tuesday.

At the end of June last year, 3,538,000 people in Germany were working multiple jobs. That’s 123,600 more than the same time the year before, a rise of 3.62%.

Nearly 3 million people worked a “mini-job” — meaning they earned €450 ($499) or less per month — on the side of a full-time job.

Another 345,400 people had two jobs liable for social security contributions.

Nearly 260,700 people worked a combination of two or more mini-jobs.

‘One job isn’t enough’

According to a study from the trade union-affiliated Hans-Böckler Foundation, 53% of people working multiple jobs in Germany do so because of financial difficulties or a financial emergency.

Left party lawmaker Sabine Zimmermann called for a raise in the minimum wage to €12 per hour “in a first step” towards responding to the trend. Currently the minimum hourly wage is €9.35.

“For more and more workers, the income from one job isn’t enough,” she said.

She also called for abolishing systematic low-wage employment like temporary agency work and unreasonable fixed-term contracts.