In Australia, today, there are just under 12 million people employed out of a population of 24.2 million. That is a statistic which often amazes most people, because it means slightly less than half the nation is working !
What is more interesting but perhaps not as surprising, is the subtle change which has been occurring in the Australian workplace since the global financial crisis, back in 2008. Part-time work is on the rise in Australia !
Today there are a massive 3.8 million part-time employment workers out of the 12 million. Or think of it in these terms a huge 32% of the workforce are in part-time employment. And the number of part-time workers and unemployed Australians only seeking part-time work is steadily increasing every year.
Why is this shift occurring, who are the Australians working part-time and what are the advantages of part-time work ?
The shift is occurring due to major demographic changes within our society combined with the fluctuating economic conditions. The part-time workers are generation y (born 1983-2000), generation x (born 1965-1982), and baby boomers (born 1946-1964). Australians seeing part-time work run across all groups in our society ! Young people want part-time work as a transition into full-time work and older Australians want part-time work as a transition into retirement.
Being a workaholic, socially acceptable twenty-five years ago, is no longer cool. Mums and dads want to be part of their children lives, not someone who misses those major moments because they were completing an urgent work project.
However, across Australia, the largest group that want part-time work are the NETTELs, those of us who feel there is ‘Not Enough Time To Enjoy Life’ when working full-time. Many people today want to balance work with study, travel, sport or hobbies and part-time work allows that equilibrium.
Part-time work has many advantages for employers as well. A business may have numerous tasks that need to be performed but instead of hiring a one generalist employee can hire two or three specialists on a part-time basis. Or the business may be expanding and need extra staff but is unsure whether the growth will continue so part-time workers are the perfect solution to fill the gaps.
Ultimately, part-time work is not for everyone, but it is a growing phenomenon readily embraced by both workers and employers. For many it solves the work-life-family dilemma and leads to happier healthier lives, which is a good thing for Australian in the future.
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