NEW YORK (MainStreet) Having the lowest unemployment rate in the nation for decades, the Plains States of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota have a history of hard-working Americans tending to daylight-to-dusk jobs in farming and mining. And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 20 million residents of the region have another distinction: the highest percentage of workers in the nation holding down multiple jobs.
The BLS reports on average 4.9% of Americans have more than one job, but in the West North Central states that rate is significantly higher, with an average of 7.5% of the population collecting an extra check. South Dakotans lead the nation in the percent of population (8.9%) holding down more than one job. It's a trend that has held for years, with northern states generally having higher rates of multiple-jobholders than southern states.
That above-average work ethic is also found in Vermont (8.8%) and Maine (8.6%). Other states with a higher than average percentage of workers holding two or more jobs include Montana (6.9%), Alaska (6.7%), Wyoming (6.6%), Wisconsin (6.3%), Colorado (6.2%), Oregon (6.2%), Idaho (6.1%) and Maryland (6.1%).
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The Sunshine State of Florida, best known as a retirement haven, has the lowest multiple-jobholding rate of any state: 3.4%. Georgia (3.5%), Alabama (3.7%) and Texas (3.9%) are also below the national average when it comes to moonlighting.
The number of workers punching more than one time clock has remained relatively stable near 5% -- since its most recent peak (6.2%) in 1995-96. Of course, many moonlighters (25.6%) are taking on the extra work in order to earn extra money to meet expenses or pay off debt, according to the BLS.