The trend for part-time work sweeping the world: Part-time work dominating jobs in the United States, Canada, and Japan.

The employment statistics do a good job concealing the true nature of the workforce. The unemployment rate has dropped dramatically since the recession ended largely because millions of Americans are now no longer considered part of the workforce. This is an easy way to boost the employment rate without actually creating new jobs. Another trend that seems to be growing around the world is that of part-time work. Part-time work and low wage labor go hand and hand. Part-time workers usually are not afforded the same benefits as those working full-time. They are also brought on with a just in time attitude and are treated as such when no longer needed. Part-time work has been growing before the recession and continues to do so today. In Canada, part-time work has been the dominant sector of employment growth. Low wage labor and part-time work go together like peas in a pod. Is this a trend we should be concerned about?

The growth of part-time work

Companies looking to cut benefits and offer little commitment to future workers will opt to go the part-time route. It is embedded in the nature of low wage labor. This is one major reason how companies have been able to boost profits while filtering profits to the top: slash wages, cut benefits, and squeeze productivity out of workers. It is a good model at the top and simply does not foster a middle class. Why would anyone struggling with part-time work want to commit to buying a home? Long-term purchases are pushed off into the future and big money has stepped in to make those purchases since they have access to funding sources like the Fed with an unlimited window.

The growth in part-time work in the United States is unmistakable:

part-time workers us

We are still having a tough time getting back to full-time employment even after the current recovery. However, you can see that the percentage of our workforce now working part-time is near record highs.

This trend is not only happening in the US but also in Canada:

part-time canada

Source: Global News

“(Global News) Since the start of the year, part-time work has been growing at clip of 13,000 positions a month, StatsCan data shows, a period in which full time has actually declined, Capital Economics says.

Eighteen thousand full-time jobs were lost last month—well down from what StatsCan’s first reading reported, which was just shy of 60,000. But that’s not exactly something to cheer about.

“The breakdown still shows that Canada is becoming a nation of part-time workers,” Madani said.”

Most of Canada’s employment growth for 2014 has come in the form of part-time work. This is part of the lower wage segment of society. Digging deeper into Canada’s details we also find a large portion is being driven by their housing bubble. As home sales drop and construction slows down, what do you think is going to unfold? Canada is setting itself for a correction similar to what the US faced in 2007. Of course, many will doubt the parallels but it is clear: over leverage in housing, absurd prices, and too much of the economy reliant on one sector.

Japan has led the way with the part-time worker trend:


Since the Nikkei and housing bubble popped in Japan over two decades ago, the government and banks have decided to quantitatively ease their way into prosperity. What this has caused is stagnant GDP growth, zombie banks, and a slow erosion of prosperity for working Japanese. With such a large workforce only working part-time, you have other societal issues like people choosing not to start families or the inability to purchase homes. The older generation will attribute this to laziness but the reality is the economic conditions simply make it harder for the young workers of the world.

Part-time employment growth seems to go hand and hand with low wage work. This trend is clearly getting stronger. This movement also sets up a situation where the middle class has a tougher time of expanding. If you think of the middle class in the US part of the characteristics that come to mind include: stable work, good pay, benefits, and stability. All of those factors are missing in the current flood of jobs coming online.

RSSIf you enjoyed this post click here to subscribe to a complete feed and stay up to date with today’s challenging market!      


TAGS: , ,


Subscribe Form

Subscribe to Blog

My Budget 360

Enter your email address to receive updates from My Budget 360:

100% Private & Spam Free.


Subscribe in a reader


Popular – All Time

  • 1. How much does the Average American Make? Breaking Down the U.S. Household Income Numbers.
  • 2. Top 1 Percent Control 42 Percent of Financial Wealth in the U.S. – How Average Americans are Lured into Debt Servitude by Promises of Mega Wealth.
  • 3. Is college worth the money and debt? The cost of college has increased by 11x since 1980 while inflation overall has increased by 3x. Diluting education with for-profits. and saddling millions with debt.
  • 4. The Perfect $46,000 Budget: Learning to Live in California for Under $50,000.
  • 5. Family Budget: How to go Broke on $100,000 a year. Why the Middle Class has a hard time Living in Expensive Urban Areas.
  • 6. Lining up at Midnight at Wal-Mart to buy Food is part of the new Recovery. Banks offering Mattress Interest Rates. The Invisible Recovery Outside of Wall Street.
  • 7. You Cannot Afford a $350,000 Home with a $75,000 Household Income!
  • 8. Crisis of generations – younger Americans moving back home in large numbers. Student loan default rates surging largely due to for-profit college expansion.
  • 9. The next massive debt bubble to crush the economy – 10 charts examining the upcoming implosion of the student loan market. $1 trillion in student loans and defaults sharply increasing.
  • 10. Welcome to the new model of retirement. No retirement. In 1983 over 60 percent of American workers had some kind of defined-benefit plan. Today less than 20 percent have access to a plan and the majority of retired Americans largely rely on Social Security as their de facto retirement plan.
  • Categories