Half of UK workers are already doing temporary work, or are planning to temp, as a direct result of the surging cost of living, according to new research.
A national survey of UK workers by jobs website Indeed Flex found that a third (32%) were planning to do temporary work on top of their existing job, as a way to top up their income.
Meanwhile, a fifth (19%) of those polled already did temporary work, with 11% planning to take on a few more shifts and 8% intending to do a lot more shifts.
According to ONS data, consumer prices rose by 9.4% in the 12 months to June, with the surge in inflation caused predominantly by the spiking cost of energy, food and fuel.
Of those already doing temporary work, or those planning to, 69% said topping up their income was their number one reason for wanting to take on extra shifts.
Workers in London were most likely to take up temping. Nearly a fifth (17%) of those planning to do temporary work to bolster their income were in the capital, while 12% are in north-west England, 11% in the south-east and 10% in the west Midlands.
As well as taking on new jobs such as evening delivery work or bar work, people were also going online to sell unwanted property such as old clothing, furniture and household goods.
Novo Constare, COO and co-founder of Indeed Flex, said: “The financial benefits of temping have been thrust centre stage by 2022’s cost of living crisis. As millions of Britons see an increasing proportion of their income swallowed up by the surging cost of living, temping offers an instant way for them to top up their earning power.
“Those taking on extra shifts, or doing temporary work for the first time, are also proving to be a lifeline for businesses struggling to find enough staff to fill vacant roles. Temps enable employers to fill shifts at short notice and cover staff absences, while also providing vital extra support during busy periods.”
The number of people working part-time or temporary positions climbed past 9.8 million at the end of April – the highest figure since June 2020.
Further research, by Wealth at Work, a retirement specialist, has found that despite the cost of living crisis, only 38% of people keep a budget and know what they can spend each month.
The study reported that one in four 18-34 year olds said they felt embarrassed about their financial situation.
Jonathan Watts-Lay, director, Wealth at Work, said employers could play a major role in alleviating these concerns: “It’s important that employees who are struggling with money get the help needed to alleviate this financial bombshell. Workplaces are a great source of support which is especially important as financial worries often lead to stress and anxiety, directly impacting employees.
“It’s well known that poor financial wellbeing in the workplace can result in lower productivity and increased absenteeism, which is one of the reasons why looking out for your employees financial wellbeing is so important right now.
“Financial education and guidance delivered in the workplace is key in providing this much needed support. It can help employees understand their finances including; ways to save money, manage a budget and what to do if in debt. Many employers now offer this as part of their overall wellbeing objective.”