In May 2001, 7.8 million persons worked multiple jobs in the United States, a figure representing 5.7 percent of all workers. Why did these persons choose to work more than one job? To answer this question, the May 2001 Current Population Survey (CPS) asked multiple jobholders: "What is the MAIN reason you worked at more than one job?" Respondents were asked to choose among the following response options: Meet expenses or pay off debt, earn extra money, build a business or get experience in a different job, enjoy the second job, or some other reason.
Results from the May 2001 supplement reveal that more than 1 in 3 moonlighters worked multiple jobs in order to earn extra money, a category that could include saving for the future or getting extra money to buy something special. An additional 27.8 percent moonlighted in order to meet expenses or pay off debt. Among the other common reasons for working multiple jobs, enjoyment of the second job was reported by 17.4 percent of moonlighters, and 4.6 percent wanted to build a business or get experience in a different job.