‘Millions’ of UK workers have taken on multiple jobs or longer hours as living costs soar.
A survey by pensions and investment provider Royal London found 28% were working more than 48 hours a week in order to make ends meet, while 19% were working more than 56 hours a week – equivalent to more than 11 hours a day over a five-day working week.
A typical work week, according to the Office for National Statistics, is 36.4 hours.
However, 42% of people working the longest hours still felt unable to pay for their basic needs or were finding it much harder, Royal London’s cost of living report found.
Younger workers were more likely to be working longer hours. Twenty-nine per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds in full-time work said they were working more than 56 hours per week, compared with just 15% of those aged 35 to 49 and 14% of 50 to 69-year-olds.
Rising cost of living
One in 11 people earning less than £20,000 a year work more than 56 hours, however so do half of those who earn £80,000 or more.
One in six claimed they had taken on an additional job to help pay their bills, while one in three said they were considering a second job if costs continued to rise.
The situation has also impacted many people’s wellbeing, with 35% feeling more anxious, 34% more stressed, 29% having a lower mood than usual and 22% having trouble sleeping.
The survey of 4,000 adults included 1,700 people who were in full-time employment.
Sarah Pennells, consumer finance specialist at Royal London, said: “While many have resorted to making significant spending adjustments, others, despite working all the hours they can, just can’t keep their heads above water.
“While the government’s energy price freeze announcement will have brought relief, escalating costs across the board are deeply worrying, with only one in 10 adults confident they’ll be able to cope financially.”
The survey also found that:
- Only 17% could fund an unexpected expense of £100 from their income or savings
- 93% are worried about energy bills ad 89% are worried about the cost of food
- Only 13% felt they would be able to cope financially as costs increase
- 31% have had to borrow more money or go overdrawn before they reach pay day.
The survey was conducted in late August, before the government announced the energy price cap freeze.