Life choices driving part-time increase

THE abundance of women, broader employment choices of younger people and the emergence of a service-orientated society are driving the demand for part-time work.

Recruitment and business representatives say a combination of economic and demographic factors are contributing to the growth in part-time employment.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show full-time employment fell in WA during June.

However, there was a growth in the total number of people employed, implying there had been strong growth in part-time employment.

During June WA’s unemployment rate also fell to 5.7 per cent from 6.5 per cent the previous month.

Recruitment Solutions WA general manager Bunty Paramor said the younger workforce as well as the requirement for continuous study was driving the demand for part-time work.

“Part-time work has become sought after,” she said.

“First of all the women who have had babies and don’t want the commitment of a full-time job and have the best of both worlds, earn a bit of money and spend time with the kids at home.

“There is also the need to study. Nowadays you’ve got to continually study. You can’t have candidates with one degree as they did when they were 20.”

Recruitment and Consulting Services Association WA president Jan Spriggs said part-time work was usually beneficial to younger people.

“It tends to be a generational thing. Gen Yers tend to want to travel and study and are not so concerned with the long-term. The younger generation is driving part-time employment to meet their needs,” she said.

“It enables people to get a higher skill level as they go to different environments and use the skills in more industries.”

Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA director of employee relations Bruce Williams said two major factors contributing to the rise in part-time employment had been the growth of the service industry and business competitiveness.

“It’s not the manufacturing industry that is growing, it’s areas such as hospitality,” he said.

“More employers in that industry have part-time and casual employees because they have peak service times.

“Things such as Jim’s Mowing, the security guard outside the chemist and petrol stations being open 24 hours did not exist ten years ago. Business is also much more competitive.

Mr Williams said working women and the blurring retirement deadline were contributing to a demand for part-time jobs.

“People can now ease their way into retirement. They have the choice to work less hours,” he said.

“If there were less part time jobs people entering retirement would have a bigger decision to make about staying or going.”

Mr Williams said full-time employment was not growing because employers were becoming more cautious.

“While the Government continues to make it complicated and a burden and a risk to employ people full-time, employers will look at their options,” he said.

“Those options include casual and part-time work as well as passing it to another party such as a labour hire firm.”

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