part time work dice

More Americans Are Choosing Part-Time Work

  • From January 2021 to January 2023: The monthly number of part-time employees in the United States grew by 2.85 million.1
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, “one notable difference between the current job expansion and earlier ones is the share of people working part-time by choice, or for family or personal reasons – all of which the Labor Department calls “noneconomic reasons” – rather than out of necessity. 2
Graph showing the number of part-time employees in the US from January 2021 to January 2023

How many hours do part-time workers work?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part-time workers are those who usually work fewer than 35 hours per week. 3

The Wall Street Journal: ’25 hours is the new 35’

A recent article from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) details that the number of people working part-time increased by 1.2 million in December and January, compared with the previous months. More than 70% of the increase, or 857,000 of those workers, made the choice to switch to work part-time for non-economical reasons. 4

Why are Americans choosing to work part-time?

The WSJ article explains that Americans are choosing to work part-time for several reasons, such as burnout from the pandemic and retirees re-entering the workforce to supplement their household income to combat inflation. Then there are the reasons that have always existed, such as caregiving responsibilities, health issues, and education commitments.

Katie Pinard, co-owner of Elements, a bookstore-bar-café in Biddeford, Maine, told the WSJ that before the pandemic, they always had a mix of full-time and part-time employees. Now, only one of her 20 employees works full-time.

“For a lot of our staff, 25 hours, maybe 30, is the max they have the capacity for,” she said. “It’s partly mental health, partly people making different priorities in their lives.”

Future of the workforce

Lonnie Golden, an economist at Penn State Abington who studies the part-time workforce, told the WSJ that he doesn’t see the numbers trending back. “Part-time work for noneconomic reasons is expanding faster than one would think and it seems to have leveled up to a higher level.”

Many employers already rely on part-time employees, while others may consider converting full-time positions they are having trouble staffing in order to broaden their effective labor pool.

But more than that, employing part-time employees can help:

  • Manage labor costs: Part-time employees can be scheduled based on the needs of the business. That means you can schedule your part-time employees to work more hours during a busier time like the holidays, and cutback on labor costs during slower months.
  • Limit employee burnout: Since part-time employees work fewer hours, they can be refreshed and enthusiastic about the work they do. 
  • Improve quality of work: Part-time employees can be trained to specialize in a specific task. This allows them to produce higher quality work than employees that frequently have to rotate positions.

Insurance for part-time workers

As more Americans choose to work part-time, Woligo’s group benefits for part-time employees can help your company recruit and retain top talent. These customizable group benefits, like income protection and life insurance, can be offered at a group rate to someone who might not be able to afford or qualify for insurance on their own. Additionally, as the employer, you can offer these benefits to your part-time staff at no cost or additional payroll administration.

For more information on group benefits for part-time employees email
Please note that product availability varies by industry and state.

Group Benefits for Part-Time Employees

Contact us to learn about group benefits for your part-time employees.

(Product availability varies by industry and state.)