According to one of Canada’s largest banks, the rise in part-time employment is nothing more than a pullback after companies hired more full-time workers than needed coming out of the recession. Economists Randall Bartlett and Derek Burleton wrote in a research note that there’s no reason to be concerned about the recent trend.
According to the latest official jobs data from Statistics Canada, the economy produced over 60,000 new part-time jobs in July, even as full-time employment decreased. Since the start of the year, more than 60 per cent of the 95,000 jobs created have been part-time work as opposed to full-time.
Some analysts are starting to worry about the long-term impacts of this trend since part-time work is generally associated with lower wages, less generous benefits and a much more temporary work force.
Typically in recessions, employers favour part-time workers over full-time positions, as companies like to keep their work force leaner to deal with impending uncertainty. When recessions end, companies tend to hire a lot of full-time workers as they expand and feel optimistic about their prospects in a growing economy.
There may be disproportionately more part-time jobs being created at the moment, but in the overall economy, full-time work still makes up 80 per cent of all jobs, the economists note. There are also numerous demographic reasons for the slight shift toward part-time work, and they, too, are nothing to worry about, according to TD’s economists.
Official data suggests about 70 per cent of part-time workers are female. Many more Canadian women are now in the work force than there have been historically, and as that trend continues “the part-time share of total employment could continue to head higher over the longer run as a result.”
Canada’s aging population is also playing a role. About eight per cent of part-time workers in Canada today are at least 65 years old. That ratio has doubled over the last 10 years, a time when the seniors’ share of the population as a whole has only increased from 16 to 18 per cent.
It’s a well-reported trend that Canadians are working later in life than they used to. But by and large, most of them are choosing part-time work when they do, which is skewing the overall ratio higher.
According to the economists, ‘Notwithstanding some of the structural trends at play that could lead to a gradual increase in the part-time share over the longer haul, we expect to see both stronger job gains and a more equitable distribution between full-time and part-time positions in the coming months.’
Source: CBC News