According to the U.S. federal government, someone working as little as a few hours a week is considered employed, yet their financial well-being is similar to a person who does not have a job.
Part-time workers experience as much food and healthcare insecurity as the unemployed, according to research by the Gallup Healthways Well-Being index. Data collected daily from January through September 2015 by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, defined financial well-being based on these premises:
- Ability to afford food and healthcare
- Having enough money to do everything they want to do
- Frequency of worry about money in the previous week
- Perceptions of their standard of living compared with those they spend time with.
Food and Healthcare Insecurity High among Part-Time Workers
Those who work part-time but are looking for full-time work are nearly as likely as the unemployed — about three in 10 in each group — to report having lacked enough money for food or healthcare/medicine at least once in the prior 12 months. In contrast, only about 12% of their full-time employed counterparts share similar challenges, reports Dan Witters.
Working Part time and Gender
How Food Security and Insecurity is Measured.
According to the USDA, the food security status of each household is divided into four ranges,as follows:
- High food security—Households with no problems, or anxiety about, consistently accessing adequate food.
- Marginal food security—Households that have experienced problems at times, or anxiety about, accessing adequate food, but the quality, variety, and quantity of their food intake were not substantially reduced.
- Low food security—Households that experienced reduction in the quality, variety, and desirability of their diets, but the quantity of food intake and normal eating patterns were not substantially disrupted.
- Very low food security—At times during the year, eating patterns of one or more household members were disrupted and food intake reduced because the household lacked money and other resources for food.
How the Growth of the Gig Economy affects Workers
The United States economy is transitioning into an Uber economy, with tens of millions of Americans involved in some form of freelancing, contracting, temping or outsourcing, writes Noam Scheiber of the New York Times.
These shifts are affecting how middle-class America was built, states Scheiber, along with other changes, like declining unionization and advancing globalization. As incomes stagnate, Americans remain anxious about their economic well-being, years after the Great Recession.
There are More Part Time Workers Looking For Full-Time Jobs
There is a sharp rise in the number of jobs available; however, these numbers are not matched by the number of part time workers who want them. In fact, employment reports show a rise in the number of part-time workers who prefer full-time jobs. The total jumped by 275,000 to 7.5 million, the Labor Department states Paul Davidson for USA Today.
The Affordable Care Act requires firms with at least 50 employees to provide them with health insurance to those working at least 30 hours, which has led some businesses to hire more part-time workers.
Millenials Face Uncertain Future with Patchwork of Part Time Employment
Forty percent of Millenials are underemployed — working part-time jobs, contract jobs, temp jobs, or one-time gigs. They do everything from waitressing, to online marketing, to freelance journalism and are not purchasing big-ticket items, like buying cars, apartments or houses. Most can’t even think of saving for retirement, reports Sarah Gardner who has been tracking young part-timers for Marketplace’s ‘Consumed‘ series.
Part-time, contract and freelance gigs are on the rise in the U.S. economy. In fact, according to the American Staffing Association, over 40 percent more people have temp jobs now than in 2009; and many college-educated 20-somethings are working them.
Underemployment and The Adjunct Crisis:
the Part-Time crisis affects everyone. Below, is an excerpt from Jrshoskins’s blog on the Adjunct Crisis:
“First, coffee. Then, file for unemployment, the absurd moment, dreaded…a vision of the dead end. How many times have I applied? 40? 50? Who’s counting? It’s just part of the “job.” Once the tentative agreement expires, and I have no reasonable assurance of being rehired, I am unemployed. The shame. It is absurd…I must embrace the absurdity, stifle the nausea and…collect the pittance I am due, which I have earned already. Seemingly, in some meager attempt to compensate for the inequity of my pay (to make it ok?), a California court awarded me and my adjuncts across the state the right to file for and receive unemployment wages, once the semester ends and the tentative agreement expires.
Then what? Oh, to work. Final compositions of introductory and advanced students, lengthy, researched tomes, about 5 dozen to evaluate. And calculate and assign a grade for each student. One sent me a paper on Google docs. Some requested that I make comments on their papers. Shall I take odds on how many will return next fall for their comments? How closely should I mark them? What wisdom might I impart to my erstwhile students, at this moment, after the tentative agreement has expired?
Ah, the absurdity. I must embrace it, and take the pittance, for the lean times ahead.
And now, to work.