Part-time work is booming — and it's not just for economic reasons

More Americans are in part-time roles, The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 25. 

The report cites Labor Department data showing that the number of part-time workers in the U.S. increased by 1.2 million in December and January compared with the preceding months.

Millions of Americans were laid off and had trouble finding full-time jobs, or didn't work as many hours, toward the beginning of the pandemic. 

Economists, employers and workers told the Journal the recent rise in part-time workers represents people responding to changing economic conditions, with some returning to the workforce in part-time roles to boost their household income. They also say the trend is indicative of a historically tight labor market. 

One difference between the recent increase and past ones is that much of it was driven by Americans choosing part-time work for "noneconomic reasons," meaning by choice, or for family or personal reasons, the Labor Department data shows, according to Journal.

The newspaper reported that the ratio of total number of people working part time voluntarily compared to the number of part-time workers who would prefer full-time hours is the highest in two decades.

Healthcare has not been immune to workforce trends. According to Labor Department data cited by the Journal, healthcare is among the industries experiencing rapid growth in part-time roles. 

To read the full Journal report, click here

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