More Canadians Work Part-Time, Here’s Why

A few decades ago, approximately 1 in 10 Canadians worked part-time, but today that has increased to almost 1 in 5. A new survey released by Express Employment Professionals provides some insight into the shift, including the desire for more flexibility in the workplace to help with work/life balance.

The survey polled job seekers about whether they preferred full-time (63%) or part-time work (37%). Those who preferred part-time work were asked to give specific reasons. Most of the responses cited non-economic reasons.

Examples include:

  • “I have grandkids who need to get picked up after school, and I am the one that has to provide    transportation and two hours after school of care.”
  • “Flexibility to take classes.”
  • “I have simplified my life, and work is not the most important thing. A part-time job supports my passion.”
  • “I want something I can do while my kids are in school.”

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Jessica Culo, an Express franchise owner in Edmonton, Alberta, said that she has “seen an increase in the desire for part-time work, primarily from the older workforce nearing retirement.”

“Many grandparents love the idea of going part-time and having more flexibility at work,” she explained. “It gives them the opportunity to travel and spend time with family while still remaining engaged professionally. These situations also provide great mentorship opportunities; experienced employees can transfer knowledge to the younger generation while working reduced hours.”

Sasha Malik, an Express franchise owner in St. Catharines, Ontario, has seen a similar trend.

“Not only have we seen an increase in job-seekers who want part-time employment, we have also seen companies jumping on this trend to fulfil their staffing needs,” she said. “A significant number of our interviewees each week state that part-time opportunities would work well with their schedules. Our team finds candidates either have commitments in their personal life such as being care-givers, completing part-time studies or schooling, or simply that they would like to take on other responsibilities and part time work allows them to do that.”

Sasha also noted that part-time work is often a win-win for baby boomers and for their employers: “We have found in the past 5 years, here in the Niagara Region, many baby-boomers who are not yet ready to fully retire and who would like to offer their skill sets and expertise to companies, are loving the opportunity to work a few days a week. This is especially helpful to some of our manufacturing or project-based clients, as individuals with a variety of skill sets are able to complete the given tasks and stay busy.”

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“Choosing part-time work is an empowering decision for so many Canadians, but for some, it’s not a choice-they’d rather work more,” said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. “The economy and the country will be better off when as many Canadians as possible can be part of the workforce. That will mean providing enough flexibility so they can work the hours they need while living the lives they want.

The survey of 290 job seekers was conducted in October 2019 through the Express Job Journey blog. The survey of 276 business leaders was conducted in October 2019 through the Express Refresh Leadership blog.


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