Part time jobs being taken at an unprecedented rate
Monday 24th August 2009
Part time jobs being taken at an unprecedented rate
If you are one of the unlucky ones who has seen your job disappear over recent months, or if redundancy is looming, then you might be pleased to hear that the numbers who are currently unemployed are fewer than expected. All is not as it seems, though: many of those who have lost their jobs have decided to take part time work - taking them out of the unemployment statistics but into less well-paid jobs.
A recent study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that nearly one million people in the UK have lost their full time jobs since the recession began and that many of these have moved into part time jobs in an attempt to bring in an income of some description. In fact, total employment was down by 580,000 since two years ago and part time jobs were up by 330,000.
This change has led to a 10 per cent drop in the number of people who are working more than 45 hours each week and most of this loss was suffered by men. It could be said that this is because women already do the lion’s share of the part-time work out there, but could also be because they tend to be in lower-paid positions and are less likely to face the chop.
It is also possible that many women who were at home with their children have now ventured back into the workplace due to financial pressures. Many of these will have taken on part time jobs which fit around their children. This will have sent the figures for part time work upwards, making the overall picture rosier.
Part time work can also be more temporary than a full time position. It is sometimes a casual type of contract with varying hours. This might mean that you work ten hours one week and 30 hours the next. The advantage of this, however, is that it offers the employee a greater deal of flexibility that allows them to meet their other responsibilities.
Further research by the Institute for Public Policy Research has found that those with fewer qualifications are finding it harder than most to get full time work. Those who have less than five GCSEs are eight per cent more likely to be out of work. Young people are also hit harder by the trend. Those aged 16 to 24 may find that their long term working potential is affected by the lack of work available when they leave school. The research has also suggested that the cost to the economy of this rise in part time work could be as much as £9 billion in lost earnings and increased benefits.
For the government, though, underemployment is better than unemployment. Not only can they claim that unemployment is less than expected, but they can also point out how much things are improving, if businesses are able to start employing again. But this is not really the full story and doesn't help those who would like to get a full time job or move from a part time position into one with longer hours.
Clearly, the move into part time work is going to have an effect on spending, particularly in major towns and cities. Anyone searching for work in larger urban areas may type ‘jobs London’ into a search engine, or perhaps ‘jobs Manchester’ and will find various part time positions available. While you won't earn as much as money as those on a full time salary, you can look forward to gaining some valuable experience.
For urban areas such as London, the numbers of part time jobs are increasing all the time. While this gives some indication of the jobs market, it also suggests that greater numbers of employees are demanding more flexibility from their work.
No one wants to have to claim job seekers allowance and for this reason people may be willing to take on jobs that encompass fewer hours than they are used to. If this is your issue, then trying to get the best possible part time job is worth all the effort required.
It is certainly possible that part time jobs may turn into full time jobs once the economy starts to pick up, so getting a job with fewer hours may be a good option to consider. It has also been said that you are more likely to get a job if you are applying while doing another one. It shows commitment to an employer and makes them feel more comfortable about hiring you.
So what do you do if you really want to break the cycle and get into a well paid a decent job? The best thing to do is to start with online job sites and agencies. They have a multitude of ways you can search for good jobs, whether part time or full time. You can search via your area, the salary you want to get, the type of job and even the company you might want to work for.
If you are a graduate, an online job site will give you even more options, with intern placements and information about various different companies that do graduate schemes.
Having a good CV will be important in such a difficult jobs market, so any work experience or volunteer work that can be done will be a great asset. Ensure that you have a word-perfect CV and one that will catch the eye of your potential employer.
Losing your job in these economic times is a worrying position to be in and taking a part time job may be the best you can do - for now at least. Don't lose hope because the right job is out there for you; it's just a case of finding it!
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