More older Americans are working part-time jobs; less younger workers are in the workforce.
Nearly 20 percent of the American work force is working part-time, but a much higher percentage of those workers are older Americans, a new study shows.
A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco indicates that the level of part-time workers among all American workers is approximately 19.5 percent, or 8.2 million people, which is just below its recent peak of 19.7 percent in 2010 and far below the highest-ever level of 20.3 percent in 1983. Part-time is defined as anyone working less than 35 hours per week in all of their jobs total.
The level itself is not surprising, according to the report.
"Given the weak labor market, what we're seeing in the number of part-time jobs is historically normal," said Rob Valletta, an economic research advisor at the FRBSF, and author of the study.
"But the burden of part-time work has shifted to older people and that makes it more of a hardship for those who want to work full time but can't."
In the past, part-time work was considered something done by younger workers still trying to find a foothold in the job market in the field of their interest and knowledge. That included workers between the ages of 16 and 24.
But in the recent study, that age group makes upon 12 percent of the total workforce in the United States, down from 23 percent in the late 1970s. Over 45 percent of the younger workforce does work part-time and that percentage has risen from 32 percent in 1980.
A higher percentage of the total workforce in the country is made up of older Americans, and a much higher percentage of that age group is working part-time, especially among unmarried Americans aged between 25 and 54.
The percentage of men in that age group working part-time has risen to almost 15 percent as of 2011, from a recent low of 7 percent in 2007. For women in that age group the percentage has risen to almost 25 percent in the same time period, from a recent low of 14 percent in 2000.
Valletta said the percentage of part-time workers should decrease as the economy continues to improve.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.