London, July 13 : Middle-income families are being forced to take on second jobs as a result of financial crisis, a new research has revealed.
Computer programmers, lawyers, financial advisers, and marketing managers are among those now looking for freelance work to do outside or even during office hours to cope with the soaring cost of food, fuel, mortgages and other household bills.
Official figures this week will show that 1.15m people now have second jobs, a 5 percent increase since the onset of the credit crunch and the highest number for five years, according to an analysis by Capital Economics, a City consultancy.
While many people taking on work are exploiting their job skills to earn extra cash, others are turning to hobbies and talents to boost their income and offering tuition in cooking, foreign languages, website design or even pole-dancing.
"We saw a sharp rise in the number of people with second jobs in previous recessions and that's starting to happen again," Times Online quoted Vicky Redwood, the UK economist for the consultancy Capital Economics, as saying.
"The true number is probably much higher, as many second jobs are simply never declared and never appear in the official figures," he added.
The research also showed that employees are increasingly using websites that allow users to advertise freelance services anonymously, ensuring they do not alert bosses to any possible conflicts in interests.
Xenios Thrasyvoulou, chief executive and founder of PeoplePerHour, a site offering freelance services, said: "We have a lot of people who say they are under-used at work and can go online and find extra to do."
Currently, the site has 6,000 users advertising their services and Thrasyvoulou estimates it is growing at 35 percent a month.
Luke Aviet, the founder of Setyourrate.com, said that until recently most users of his site were retired workers and students looking for extra income.
"The big difference in the past three months is that we're seeing middle-class types flocking to the site. Typically, it's people in IT, financial services or marketing people offering their services for an hourly rate as consultants," Aviet said.
"We are also seeing people selling their skills totally unrelated to their day job. We've had an advertising copywriter training people at poker.
"But the thing that unites these groups, they say, is that with bills, food and petrol costs getting higher, they need to do something extra to make ends meet," he added.