October 27, 2016

I work three part-time jobs

Erlinda Delacruz

For 15 years, Erlinda Delacruz had a full-time manufacturing job in rural Winters, Texas.
It gave her health benefits and four weeks of paid vacation along with a salary that supported a good life. Then the rug was pulled from under her in 2009, when the plant closed. Since then, it’s been a battle of survival as Delacruz worked a string of part-time jobs. Last summer, she even lost her home to foreclosure.
Delacruz, 55, still works part-time. Except at three different places — Monday through Wednesday she works eight hours a day at a senior citizens center serving meals, and Thursday through Sunday Delacruz divides her time between two other jobs as a cashier at Walmart (WMT) and the Wes-T-Go convenience store.
She barely has time for herself. In all, Delacruz says she works roughly 60 hours a week between her three part-time jobs.
“There’s no such thing as a Friday,” says Delacruz. “I live paycheck to paycheck.”
In all, she typically makes $1,600 a month before taxes. It’s lesser than what she made at her manufacturing job, where she took home $2,000 a month.
Delacruz is one of 2.1 million Americans working multiple part-time jobs, matching the all-time high set in 2014. What’s unclear is how many of these workers choose to work multiple part-time jobs or feel forced to by their circumstances. The evidence suggests the latter.

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