Part-time employment is often available in a wide range of sectors, most commonly throughout the services industry where a majority of employees work part-time. Part-time jobs allow workers to pursue alternative interests and attend to additional responsibilities, while concurrently earning a living.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that in 1998, 18% of the nation’s workforce was part-time; Hewitt Associates’ 1998 survey of 1020 companies showed that 66% of those companies offered part-time opportunities. Part-time employment, once limited to retail trade and service industries, has now extended into professional occupations.
Contributing to the growth in part-time employment are several demographic trends that have emerged in the past several years. These shifts in the labor force include:
Employees who work part-time generally find that working fewer hours enables them to more successfully integrate their work and home lives. Whether they need to take care of small children, coordinate medical care for sick or elderly dependents, pursue academic or skill training, or ease into retirement, working part-time helps employees manage these demands while still productively contributing to their jobs.
Managers, too, find that part-time employment can be a successful work scheduling strategy. By making part-time jobs available, employers can tap a large pool of experienced and competent workers who might otherwise remain unemployed.
Part-time employment offers other advantages to managers, labor literature indicates. In 1981 for example, a national survey of part-time employment included part-time workers. Managers of part-time employees noted that part-time positions permitted them to hire people they otherwise would not have had access to, that these employees had special backgrounds and skills, and that they were especially productive. Other research done in the past in Massachusetts and other states showed that part-time workers were more productive hour for hour, and experienced less turnover, than their full-time counterparts. [ Source - mass.gov ]