Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that around 8 million Britons are working part-time, a record high over the last two decades. The growth in part-time employment has helped to reduce the total unemployment figure which has now fallen to its lowest level for a year.

Why are a record number of Britons working part-time?

There are a number of possible reasons for this:

  • The increase in part-time employment is because people prefer to work part-time as full-time work is not readily available.
  • Some people are looking for greater flexibility in their working arrangements to get good work-life balance and/or to spend more time with their family.
  • Students are always short of money, so many take part time jobs to cover all their expenses, while gaining valuable work experience and skills which they later add to their CV.
  • Many graduates, who are not able to find their ‘dream job’, work part-time to cover their expenses while struggling to find a suitable job in the market.
  • Many retirees choose to continue to work over the age of 65 either because they like their job or they do not have enough pension to retire properly or to support their finances.
  • Due to current economic downturn, many workers have chosen to become part-time rather than losing their jobs.
  • Part-time workers have equivalent employment rights as compared to full-time workers.