FARGO, N.D. -- Deanna Kubas took a second job seven years ago because she wanted some extra spending money. Her daytime job as a deputy court clerk paid enough to cover the bills, but left little extra.
''Financially, it was always tight,'' said Kubas, 39, a Cass County court clerk in Fargo for nearly 16 years.
In Minneapolis, Victor Higgins, 37, puts in more than 60 hours a week between two part-time jobs to pay his rent and save for a car. He doubts he could make ends meet on one job alone.
''My rent is $250 and I can barely pay that,'' he said.
A new study says Minnesota and North Dakota have the nation's highest rates of workers who take second jobs.
In Minnesota, 10.8 percent of the work force held at least two jobs in 1998, the latest year figures were available. In North Dakota, 10.6 percent of all workers had more than one job, according to the survey by the North Dakota State Data Center at North Dakota State University. The national rate for workers with second jobs is only 6.3 percent.
Richard Rathge, the data center director, called the figures troublesome. They suggest that jobs in the area may be plentiful but that they don't pay very well, he said.
''The obvious thing that comes to mind when you see this many people holding multiple jobs is that one job no longer is cutting it for a lot of people,'' Rathge said Thursday.
''Maybe they don't get to work enough hours or the wages are low,'' he said. ''But in the current job they have, they can't maintain the lifestyle they want and they feel they have to take on another job.''
The study, based on results of a Labor Department survey of workers, found the average North Dakotan working two jobs made only about $330 weekly in 1998.
The study also found the majority of those working more than one job in North Dakota were between the ages of 25 and 44. Most had some education beyond high school, with nearly 10 percent having a master's degree or higher, according to the study.
Rathge said the problem is worst in the Midwest and in states whose economies are closely tied to agriculture. Kansas and Nebraska also had rates of multiple job holders just above 10 percent in 1998.
The study found that in nearly every state, the number of workers with two or more jobs declined slightly from 1996.
At the same time, those who continued to work more than one job were staying longer at work.
In 1996, the average North Dakotan holding two jobs worked just over 42 hours a week. That increased to nearly 47 hours a week in 1998, the study found. In Minnesota, hours worked increased slightly from 46.9 to 47.1.
Kubas, the Fargo court clerk, said she took the second job as a bookkeeper for a West Fargo business at a time when she was trying to pay off debts and buy a new car. Recently married and now a new homeowner, she has kept the job to help pay bills and have fun as well.
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