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Economic Strain Forces Many To Moonlight

When many feeling the strain of tough times, an increasing number of Americans are being forced to moonlight to make ends meet.

When many feeling the strain of tough times, an increasing number of Americans are being forced to moonlight to make ends meet.

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) – It will come as no surprise to most that many in the tri-state area are feeling the pinch of the tough economic times facing our country.

Many workers are seeing their hours and salaries cut while their household expenses continue to rise – as a result, people are being forced to moonlight, just to make ends meet.

Joe Castelano and his wife Jennifer have three kids and moderate lifestyle that’s becoming increasingly difficult to afford, despite Castelano’s full-time employment at a financial services company.

With pay cuts occurring in the sales industry, Castelano has less money to support his family.

“My property tax continues to rise,” he said. “I’m looking at just what our food bill is, our electric bill, our utilities. Wages are not growing at the same pace as expenses, especially in my household.”

This year, Castelano took on a second job – running a Doctor’s Express office in Paramus. Between both jobs, he works anywhere from 80 to 90 hours a week.

“It is exhausting to work that many hours,” Castelano admits. “It’s not unusual to find me working til one, two, three in the morning.”

And Joe’s not alone. According to an online survey, 9 percent of workers say they’ve added a second job in the last year, and 19 percent say they’re planning to moonlight by the end of the year.

“There are many employers that, in the last year, have cut back on hours, they’ve cut pay, they’ve cut benefits,” she said. “More individuals are moonlighting now than in the last five years.”

While a second job means more income for Joe Castelano, it also means less time with his family.

“We’re training to maintain that lifestyle that we’ve come to enjoy,” Castelano said. “It’s just not possible with a single job and a 40 hour work week.”

Experts say you should always double check your company’s policies to make sure there isn’t a conflict of interest.