Moonlighting is on the rise according to research from Direct Line, with ever-increasing numbers of 9-to-5 employees taking to self-employment to supplement their incomes (or maybe just escape their loved ones?).

According to the stats, more than three million full-time employees held a second job in the past six months, with a further 1.5 million setting up business on their own – the majority (55%) nurturing their entrepreneurial side-projects in the evening.

Freelancing, contracting and flogging things on auction sites were amongst the most popular options for those eager to increase their income – and increase they did, this growing gaggle of ’5-to-9ers’ thought to pocket an extra £2,536 a year each.

Interestingly, people in the South East were the most likely to have supplemented their income in the last six months, with 40% of southerners seeking to boost their primary income. In contrast, Scotland reflected the smallest numbers of moonlighters with 32% thought to have taken on extra work.

With pints, property, parking – practically everything, really – costing a fortune in the South East, really it’s no wonder that it leads on the second job front. I saw a beach hut going for 20 grand in Brighton the other day – 8 years spent moonlighting and it’ll be mine.

Photo by Ray Bodden