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Ongoing Change in the Structure of Part-Time Employment

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  • Karl Brenke

Abstract

The prominence of part-time employment has dramatically increased both in Germany and across Europe. Germany has experienced above- average growth and currently the prevalence of part-time employment there also exceeds the EU average. Evidently, this involves fundamental structural change as part-time employment has increased regardless of economic trends. Although part-time positions often still entail predominantly low-skilled work, the number of mediumskilled or highly qualified employees working shorter hours has also increased. Part-time employment has expanded into an increasing number of professions and occupations. The fact that the number of men in part-time work has increased particularly dramatically is further evidence of structural change. Nonetheless, reduced working hours remain unequivocally a woman's domain across the whole of Europe. Although the ratio of men to women in part-time employment in Germany has converged somewhat, the gender gap is still significantly larger than in most other European countries. Significant gender differences are also evident when we examine the reasons for part-time employment, both in Germany and in the EU as a whole: Women's motives are predominantly family- related, whereas men's motives are mainly linked to further vocational training and particularly the shortage of full-time positions. For many women, too, the lack of available jobs is a reason for working part-time as well. In spite of the fact that the employment situation in Germany has improved over the past few years, the number of employed people for whom a part-time job only represents a stopgap solution has leveled off at a substantial two million.

Suggested Citation

  • Karl Brenke, 2011. "Ongoing Change in the Structure of Part-Time Employment," DIW Economic Bulletin, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 1(6), pages 13-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwdeb:2011-6-3
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.389645.de/diw_econ_bull_2011-06-3.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Mosthaf & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel, 2014. "Low-wage employment versus unemployment: Which one provides better prospects for women?," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-17, December.
    2. Stephan Humpert, 2014. "Occupational Sex Segregation and Working Time: Regional Evidence from Germany," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(3), pages 317-329, June.
    3. Agnieszka Chlon-Dominczak & Agnieszka Kaminska & Iga Magda, 2013. "Women as a Potential of the European Labour Force," IBS Policy Papers 1/2013, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    part-time work; Germany; EU;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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