Second Jobs: A Special Report on Area Workers In Search of "Extra Coin"

By Jeff Neumeyer

May 15, 2012 Updated May 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM EDT

NORTHEAST INDIANA (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Two is better than one.

In this challenging economy, many people are picking up a second job to help the family make ends meet.

It is the subject of an Indiana’s NewsCenter special report titled, "Extra Coin."

Layoffs and wage cuts are prompting a lot of people to "moonlight" as bartenders, wedding photographers, even as pet sitters.

Mary Lou Rahr of Huntington has, for years, been burning the candle at both ends.

For Rahr, a 40-hour work-week is unfamiliar territory.

On top of her full-time day job, a few nights a week she cleans businesses like the McElhaney-Hart Funeral Home.

Mary Lou Rahr/Works Second Job: " I go home and change clothes, and then I come down here, and it can be early leaving, or it can be late. It's helped pay the bills."

She’s been doing the cleaning detail for close to 20 years.

For others, the search for a second job has been more recent.

Ashlin Engelhaupt came this week to Tower Staffing Employment Agency in Fort Wayne looking for full-time work.

Not long ago, she had one job, but was also trying to track down another.

Ashlin Engelhaupt/Job Seeker: " I have a daughter, so, I was waitressing, not making very much, and I mean, you have to support your kids.”

Teresa Strater/Tower Staffing Inc.: " In the last couple of years, it's a lot more common. We see it a lot more than what we did 20 years ago."

Teresa Strater is talking about people on the prowl for a second job.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics documented for April 2012, 6.9 million workers in the United States held down more than one job.

That represents 4.8% of jobholders.

In a 2010 report, 284,000 people were shown to be working full-time at two jobs.

Strater's experience is that can be a recipe for burnout.

Teresa Strater: " In the long-term, it doesn't end up working out, because it's just that there aren't enough hours in the day to be able to do that."

Strater says employees will endure double-duty for a period of time, if they want to make sure their primary job is stable.

But In some cases, having one job can leave you feeling like you're a dollar short.

Ashlin Engelhaupt: " It's really hard. It just seems like there's not very many good jobs, good paying jobs, especially unless you're super-qualified, have a lot of schooling, or something like that.”

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