More Americans are working part-time by choice…

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I came across this fascinating article from the team at Morning Brew about a recent study that showed 1.2 million Americans joined the part-time workforce in December and January.

Over a million Americans joined the part-time workforce in December and Januaryโ€”and most of them chose the temporary grind over a full-time hustle, according to Labor Department data analyzed by the WSJ.

Key word: chose. As of last month, over 22 million part-timers were working fewer than 35 hours per week voluntarily, compared to just 4 million that wanted full-time hours and couldnโ€™t get them. That nearly six-to-one ratio is the highest itโ€™s been in two decades, per the WSJ.

Why the downshift?

Early in the pandemic, the number of Americans doing part-time work โ€œfor economic reasons,โ€ as the Labor Department classifies it, spiked as layoffs rocked the economy, peaking in April 2020. But after that, the vibe shifted: More people started choosing to work part-time โ€œfor noneconomic reasons,โ€ such as caregiving and personal health.

And there may be more 9-to-5ers waiting for the chance to clear their G Cals. โ€œA lot of people want to work part-time, but the options arenโ€™t really there,โ€ Ernie Park, who left his full-time tech job to take an hourly gig and start a family farm, told the WSJ. โ€œFor companies that get on this, they can scoop up some really great talent.โ€

There are several other reasons why more Americans are choosing to work part-time:
  1. Work-life balance: Many people are looking for a better balance between their work and personal lives. Part-time work can provide them with more time for family, hobbies, and other activities.
  2. Flexibility: Part-time work offers more flexibility in scheduling and allows individuals to adjust their work hours to fit their personal needs.
  3. Career change: Some people choose to work part-time while they make a transition to a new career or field.
  4. Retirement: Many older Americans are choosing to work part-time as they approach retirement age, allowing them to ease into retirement while still earning an income.
  5. Health reasons: Some individuals may need to work part-time due to health issues or disabilities that make it difficult to work full-time.

Overall, working part-time can provide a range of benefits for individuals who value work-life balance, flexibility, or are seeking to transition to a new career or phase of life.

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