As the softening economy begins to push more people into part-time jobs in place of full-time work, the part-time world is getting tougher.
Take Linda Barry of Pittsburgh, a 57-year-old gas-station cashier who typically works 40 hours a week. Her employer classifies her as part-time and gives her no health benefits because she won’t work night shifts; she uses that time for a second job cleaning offices five hours a night. “I have part-time status with full-time hours,” she says.
For many, the nature of part-time work is changing. More and more people are working part-time jobs for economic reasons, rather than by choice. That figure rose by 100,000 in February for the second month in a row, the Labor Department reported yesterday, bringing it to 4.79 million — compared to 4.13 million a year ago, and the highest since 1993.
More people also are holding multiple part-time jobs out of economic need. In 2007, an average of 1.8 million people held two jobs for that reason, the highest since the government began regularly tracking the statistic in 1994. The growth was largely fueled by women, who overtook men to make up the majority of the multiple-job market for the first time, according to a labor bureau study.
Photo by brokenarts.
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