Nearly half of those working in education have multiple income sources, new research reveals

New report from Utility Warehouse and Cebr reveals 1.5 million adults who work in education (45%) are Multi-income individuals (Miis)  


  • Education is among the sectors with the highest number of Multi-income individuals (Miis) along with those in human health and social work 
  • The report highlights that teachers say flexibility and more financial stability are among the key benefits of multiple incomes 
  • Miis across the UK can earn almost £10k a year, however almost a quarter think there’s a stigma attached to having more than one income
  • Despite this, the number of Miis is rapidly growing in the UK and now stands at over 20 million – more than 1 in 3 of the UK’s adult population
  • Utility Warehouse (UW) collaborated with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) on a major new report exploring the impact of Miis on the UK economy


London, July 2023: Nearly half of those who work in the UK’s education sector* have taken on a second job or side-hustle to beat the cost of living crisis, test a new career or fulfil a lifelong passion, according to a major new report.


Detailed research from Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and Utility Warehouse (UW) highlights that 45% of people who work in education are now defined as Multi-income individuals (Mii), equating to 1.5m adults. 


Conducted with over 10,000 UK adults with a second source of income, the study found that education is among the sectors with the highest number of Miis, with a similar proportion to those employed in the human health and social work sector.


The report explored the reasons why people seek out multiple income sources. When speaking to teachers it found that flexibility, an appreciation for a different environment, feeling more valued and more financial stability are key benefits for becoming a Mii, while their motivations vary from responding to the cost-of-living crisis to proactively ensuring financial freedom. 


Miis across the UK can earn almost £10k a year through a side-hustle or second job to supplement their main salary. On average, Miis earn an extra £780 per month through their secondary income stream. 


However, the report also identified the need to break down the stigma associated with multiple income streams. It found that over a third of Miis (34%) believe there is a negative social perception associated with people who earn multiple income sources.

Despite this, Miis are helping to power the UK economy and last year spent £55 billion of their extra income on UK businesses – supporting more than 364,000 jobs to deliver a £30 billion boost to the nation’s coffers.


When it comes to Miis in general, the main reasons for becoming one include the cost of living crisis and rising household bills, 35% and 34% respectively, while 18% of people cited the Covid-19 pandemic, 15% fear of a recession and 8% Brexit. 


Other findings show that:


  • Almost half of the UK’s adult population (47%) could be earning an extra income by 2025 – up from less than 10% in 2017
  • More than 40% of Londoners earn an extra income, followed by the West Midlands (37.8%) and the South West (36.9%)  
  • Men are more likely to have multiple incomes than women (54% of Miis are men, compared to 46% of women)


UW wants to increase people’s understanding of why people become a Mii and help break down the barriers that prevent more people from earning an extra income. Its word-of-mouth Partner opportunity has enabled tens of thousands of people over the last 25 years to earn an extra income around their main job or other commitments.


Andrew Lindsay, Co-CEO of Utility Warehouse, said: “Millions of people in the UK are turning to side-hustles or second jobs to help make ends meet in the current cost-of-living crisis. We think these people – Miis – deserve greater recognition. They contribute billions of pounds to the economy through their extra work, but despite this, many think there’s a stigma attached to earning an additional income and don’t want to talk about it – even with family or friends. We want to challenge these preconceptions so people with multiple incomes can continue to help power growth and opportunity across the UK.”


Owen Good, Head of Economic Advisory, Cebr, said: “To our knowledge, this is the first and most detailed report of its kind, and provides significant insight into people who earn an extra income. Our research demonstrates the breadth and scale of these individuals across the UK, along with the associated economic contribution of this group. Over 20 million people across the UK have a secondary income and this figure is set to grow even further in the coming years. This provides a very significant boost for UK businesses, supporting jobs and increasing economic activity as Miis spend their additional income.”


Nicola Evans, a Utility Warehouse Partner who is also a teacher, said: “My main motivation for finding a second income was to renovate my home – I didn’t want to let my kids have friends over before Utility Warehouse. And now I just love the choices it gives us. Even though the cost of everything has gone up, this gives us breathing space. I can fit the work around my family and it gave me the chance to build an income that gave us a beautiful home renovation – and now my children’s friends come over all the time to play. It supplements my main paycheque and allows me to plan for my future and live life on my own terms.”

The report is based on a detailed survey of 10,000 people who earn a second income from a wide range of sources from Airbnb hosts and bartenders to Ebay sellers and film extras, as well as UW Partners.