Second Job Holding Among Direct Care Workers and Nurses: Implications for COVID-19 Transmission in Long-Term Care

Med Care Res Rev. 2020 Nov 19;1077558720974129. doi: 10.1177/1077558720974129. Online ahead of print.


One reason that nursing homes are a primary source of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the United States may be that workers hold multiple jobs. We use 2010-2019 Current Population Survey data to document the rate of second jobholding among nursing and long-term care workers. On average, 6.41% of personal care and nursing aides and 6.23% of licensed practical nurses and registered nurses hold second jobs; second job holding rates are 35% and 32% higher than those of other workers, respectively. Both wages and hours in the primary job are negatively associated with the probability of holding a second job for personal care and nursing aides, while lower hours are more strongly correlated with a second job for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Many of these workers move across health settings from their first to second jobs, and 15% of second jobs for personal care and nursing aides are in other "essential" occupations.

Keywords: COVID-19; long-term care; nursing homes; second job holding.