Thursday, October 25, 2012

Part-time unemployment

Delia Koczwara asks:

Does anyone have the figures to calculate the true rate of unemployment if those holding part-time jobs who would prefer to work full-time were counted as 50% working and 50% unemployed?

Good question. Here’s the answer:

The proportion of  people who want a full-time job but can only find a part-time one is at its highest since records began. If you count them as half-unemployed, this takes the unemployment rate from about 8% to about 10%. If you count them in full, that’s over 12% of people who are under-employed.

One aspect of this change is patterns of self-employment. While the proportion of workforce who are self-employed has risen only slightly, self-employment is increasingly likely to be part-time – more so than being an employee. And the proportion of part-time workers who want to be full-time is at a historic high:

Data from the ONS, covering all adults aged over 16 who are economically active (working or looking for work).

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