Australian workers are dealing with the largest rise in living costs in decades by spending less and picking up more jobs. Worker households had the largest annual rise in living costs of all household types at 9.6 per cent, as of June 2023 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. "[It] is the largest increase since this series started in 1999," ABS head of prices statistics Michelle Marquardt said. Food prices rose between 7 and 8 per cent in the past year, as fruit and vegetables and the cost of eating meals out and takeaway climbed. Household bills also rose as the price of utilities jumped between 12 to 14 per cent thanks to higher wholesale gas and electricity prices. "The impact of price changes on household budgets varies between household types with their different spending patterns," Ms Marquardt said. IN OTHER NEWS: Mortgage interest charges have jumped by 91.6 per cent in the past year due to Reserve Bank of Australia rate rises and fixed-rate agreements rolling onto variable mortgages. According to the ABS, this has most impacted worker households as mortgage repayments make up a larger part of their spending. Insurance premiums for house, contents and car insurance have also gone up and demand for rental properties and a tight rental market have contributed to rising housing costs. A sign of the cost-of-living pressures is reduced retail sales volumes between April and June this year. ABS head of retail statistics Ben Dorber said it showed the extent that consumers were pulling back on spending. "It's the first time since 2008 that retail sales volumes have recorded three consecutive quarterly falls," he said. "The widespread fall in sales volumes reflects what retailers have been telling us about consumers focusing on essentials, buying less or switching to cheaper brands." Meanwhile the proportion of people working multiple jobs is at a record high according to ABS data. In March 2023 there were almost 950,000 workers with more than one job, up from 859,500 in March 2022. Multiple-job holders represent 6.6 per cent of the working population and this has steadily risen after a large drop at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rate among women is higher than men and young workers are more likely to be on multiple pay roles - 8.9 per cent of 20 to 24 year-olds and 7.9 per cent of 15 to 19 year-olds.