Social Change and Innovation in the Labour Market: Evidence from the Census SARs on Occupational Segregation and Labour Mobility, Part-Time Work and Student Jobs, Homework and Self-Employment

By Catherine Hakim | Go to book overview

5
A Differentiated Part-Time Workforce: Marginal Jobs, Half-Time Jobs and Reduced Hours Jobs

The purpose of this chapter is to present a new classification of working hours which was developed through iterative analyses of the SAR files, and to show that it differentiates usefully between subgroups within the so-called part-time workforce, thus helping us to make sense of puzzles in crossnational comparisons of part-time work.


THE RISE IN PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT

Throughout Europe, and in most OECD countries, part-time work has been expanding, along with other types of non-standard employment. This new development has stimulated a substantial literature seeking to understand part-time work and to set it within an economic, social, and industrial relations context. Studies of part-time work in particular countries ( Beechey and Perkins, 1987; Hakim, 1990b, 1991, 1993a; Hepple, 1990; Duffy and Pupo, 1992) are complemented by cross-national comparative reports ( Goldthorpe, 1984; Neubourg, 1985; Dahrendorf, Kohler, and Piotet, 1986; Jenson, Hagen, and Reddy, 1988; Boyer, 1989; Lane, 1989; ILO, 1989; Rodgers and Rodgers, 1989; Dale and Glover, 1990; Hakim, 1990a; OECD, 1990, 1994: 73-100, 1995; Gladstone, 1992; Meulders, Plasman, and Vander Stricht, 1993; Pfau-Effinger, 1993; Pott-Buter, 1993; Bosch, Dawkins, and Michon, 1994; Meulders, Plasman, and Plasman, 1994; European Commission, 1994a, 1995a:9, 17-18; McRae, 1995; Nätti, 1995; Rosenfeld and Birkelund, 1995; Wedderburn, 1995; Blanpain and Rojot, 1997; Blossfeld and Hakim, 1997; De Gripet al., 1997; O'Reilly and Fagan, 1998). The rise of part-time work has three characteristics that establish it as a new element in the labour market, qualitatively different and quite separate from the conventional fulltime workforce: part-time jobs are growing faster than and sometimes replacing full-time jobs in the workforce; they are part of a broader trend towards diverse forms of non-standard or atypical employment contract and working hours; and they are mostly taken by women.

Part-time work also presents a challenge to social scientists: theories that work reasonably well in relation to a male-dominated full-time workforce fall

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