Aussies 'forced to work more than one job to make ends meet'
The Australian dream has long been to live a middle-class life and have the financial stability to own a family home.
But as the cost of living continues to rise, many Aussie families are feeling financial pressure like never before.
‘Work Strife Balance’ airs tonight at 8.40pm on 60 Minutes, after the season finale of LEGO Masters Australia. For more on 60 Minutes, visit the official website.
Tonight on 60 Minutes, Nine Network Finance Editor Ross Greenwood examines the changing landscape of the Australian work force and what it means for our economy.
He finds despite record low unemployment rates, many workers are now being forced to take on second, and in some cases third jobs, just to make ends meet.
In fact, a third of working Australians are currently employed in part-time, casual and self-employment positions, according to new research.
Social Demographer Mark McCrindle says it’s all a part of the “gig economy” – a rise in freelance and independent contract work existing outside of the traditional 38-hour, 9 to 5 work week.
“The ends are just not meeting, the traditional equation is not working out,” Mr McCrindle tells Nine Network Finance Editor Ross Greenwood.
“And so Australians are looking for other alternatives, extra jobs, doing gig economy work.
“Mum, dad, both out there working and managing the kids. This is just the new way of Australian households making ends meet.”
But as 60 Minutes reports, any extra income generated usually comes at a cost.
“To achieve the Aussie dream of a home ownership and a middle-class life, that’s not as simple to achieve anymore,” Mr McCrindle says.
“They're saying, "Why do I need to work an extra job? Why do I have to give up time with my family? It wasn't like this in my parent's day."
Tonight’s special report comes as the living wage debate reaches boiling point ahead of the federal election.
In Melbourne alone, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in a show of strength and solidarity, led by Australian Council of Trade Union’s president Michele O’Neill.
Ms O’Neill tells Greenwood worker’s anger is bubbling as wages aren't keeping up with the growing cost of living.
“We're talking about increases so people don't live in poverty,” she tells Greenwood.
“That's a principle in a country like this one that we should be proud of, that we don't have workers living in poverty.”
But as 60 Minutes reveals, the push for even bigger pay packets could be the catalyst to send local jobs overseas.
Austral Bricks boss Lindsay Partridge tells Ross Greenwood he fears increasing wages will mean losing jobs altogether – and eventually losing entire industries like brickmaking.
“The problem is if our jobs start to go, everyone will be on that minimum wage because the high paying jobs are disappearing.”
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