Cover Image
close this bookAdapting Working Hours to Modern Needs (ILO, 1977, 66 p.)
close this folderVII. PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT
View the documentStructure
View the documentDevelopment
View the documentArguments for and against
View the documentOutlook

Development

The amount of part-time employment has grown substantially over the last 10 years in most of the industrial countries (e.g. Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States), though the impact on different sectors and trade and on union policies has not been identical.

In Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany and the United Kingdom, most part-time workers are in the service sector. For example, in a West German survey in the summer of 1971 covering 23 undertakings of different sizes in different sectors and parts of the country, the proportion of part-time employees ranged from 0.5 per, cent to 26.5 per cent, being highest in banks and insurance companies (up to 14.2 per cent) and in department stores and chain food stores (up to 25 per cent).3

3 See Federal Ministry of Labour: Teilzeitarbeit in der betrieblichen Praxis, Public Information Issue No. 53, Bonn, Oct. 1975, p. 21.

In most of the countries concerned, particularly in Belgium, West Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the bulk of the part-time workers were women. In the United Kingdom, the 1966 census showed over 2,500,000 women and about 350,000 men in part-time employment; and in manufacturing (June 1974) one in every four women was employed part-time.4

4 See ILO: Part-time employment - an international survey (doc. ILO/W.4/1973), p. 5; also Sloane, op cit., p. 1.

In the United States, part-time employment has become widespread and is still increasing, mainly in department stores and supermarkets, as well as in business offices. In department stores, part-time workers are expected to outnumber full-time workers by three to one in the near future. In business offices, 2,139,000 persons were known to be working part-time in May 1971, 66 per cent of them women, these figures being higher than the figures for the retail sector.

There has also been a marked increase in part-time employment during the same period in industrialised countries elsewhere, for example in Australia and New Zealand.