- The left-leaning Economic Policy Institute released a report showing that part-time workers are becoming the norm. Although the economic recovery began six years ago, the segment of people involuntarily working part time is 44.6% higher than it was during the recession in 2007.
- The major disadvantages involuntary part-time workers have are relatively low pay, little to no benefits coverage and irregular work schedules, the report shows. Part-time workers have access to benefits at a 22% rate compared with full-time workers, whose access rate to benefits is 73%.
- Certain industries are driving the increase in involuntary part-time workers. Retail, including stores and car dealerships; hospitality, including restaurants and hotels; and leisure have contributed to 63.2% of the growth in all part-time work since 2007, and 54.3% of the rise in involuntary part-time employment.
With payroll as their largest expense, companies have eliminated some of the higher costs associated with full-time employees, such as healthcare coverage and other benefits, by hiring more part-time employees. A reverse trend is highly unlikely, especially as healthcare costs continue to trend up.
Involuntary part-time workers might face competition for jobs from the “gig” economy’s workforce of independent contractors. Many contractors find the hiring-on-demand aspect of gig-based work and the irregular work schedules appealing, while others have sued companies for not treating them like employees.