Lori Falce: Women with 4 jobs exist, O’Reilly
Bill O’Reilly doesn’t think working four jobs is a thing people do.
While live-tweeting during the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, the former Fox News host dismissed a statement from candidate and former congressman Beto O’Rourke.
“Beto says he met a woman working FOUR jobs. And raising a special needs child. I don’t believe him. Sorry,” O’Reilly tweeted.
Let’s set aside for a moment which candidate made the statement, because hey, Beto isn’t everybody’s particular tall, lanky, craft-brewed, artisan beer. And that’s fine. Not all the Democrats are behind him, so it certainly isn’t surprising that one of the most irascible voices of the Republican Party isn’t in his corner.
O’Reilly can dismiss what might seem like a conveniently hard-luck story sold by a guy with poor poll numbers in a football team-sized field of presidential wannabes.
But what he shouldn’t — and everyone shouldn’t — dismiss is the likelihood that moms like that exist. Because they do.
CBS News found Gina Giambone, 59, of Las Vegas, and their reporting shows she actually has five gig-economy jobs that combine to bring in about $15,600 a year. That’s the equivalent of what she would make with one full-time federal minimum wage job if she could get one, but she can’t because she also cares for her daughter. They live in her car, which is also Giambone’s office as she works for different contract food delivery services.
The question isn’t whether Giambone exists. The question should be how many people like Giambone exist.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 4.9% of workers in 2017 held multiple jobs, and the numbers are rising. In September, it was 5.3%. For blacks, it’s 5.8%. For women, it’s 5.9%.
By the numbers, that person working more jobs is most likely to be a married white woman between 25 and 54. By percentages, more divorced black women in the workforce are punching multiple time clocks.
That person holding two or three or four jobs might be someone who holds a salaried position like a teacher from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., then works shifts at a mall store at night, picks up a few Uber runs on the weekend and wedges in some online tutoring when she can.
The question isn’t whether there is a woman out there working as many jobs as she has to work to support her family. The facts are there are literally thousands of women — and men — of all ages and all colors and all walks of life working more than one job, and the numbers look like they will continue to climb.
So the answer to the question shouldn’t be the snarky “Sorry” that O’Reilly offers.
The answer should be another question. What are we going to do about it?
Lori Falce is a Tribune-Review community engagement editor. You can contact Lori at [email protected].