The rise of the part-time worker

Australia has the second-highest rate of part-time employment in the world, a figure that has tripled since the 1960s, a Productivity Commission report released last week says.

The report says part-time workers have grown in number from 10% in 1966 to 29% just last year, with the main reasons being combining work and education, child care and being unable to find full-time work.

“The rise of part-time employment over the past 40 years represents a fundamental change in the Australian labour market,” the report says. It also suggests more flexible working and extended shopping hours is a contributor.

However, women still make up the majority of part time workers at 71%, but the report also finds the rate of men working part-time has grown faster than women in the past 40 years.

Australian National University demographer Peter McDonald told The Australian Financial Review an increase of foreign exchange students and changes in working travel legislation has contributed to the rise.


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