The latest employment data shows more women in paid jobs and a rise of 306,000 more part-time jobs compared to just 150,600 full-time positions over the past three years. So why is this a bad thing?
According to this report in the Sydney Morning Herald, a rise in part-time employment signals a “hallowing out” of the workforce which could damage economic growth. But could it be about something bigger?
As far as trends go, jobs website SEEK said that the number of job advertisements that are offering “flexible” work conditions has grown significantly in recent years and it is one of the most added terms to attract workers who desire greater work-life balance – male or female.
Westpac economist Justin Smirk is quoted as saying that the shift toward part-time employment is likely to be more about the sectors that were expanding and contracting than work patterns.
“This can be seen in employment by gender with female employment rising 141,000 in the year compared to 83,800 for male employment.”
The Australian Bureau of Statistic said the unemployment rate held steady at 5.7 per cent in May, which means we are less likely to see the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates any time soon.
Some economists attribute the part-time jobs growth to services-type industries which tend to employ more women such as tourism, hospitality and health care.
Jobs growth in mining-related industries have slowed as expected, however the sector remains one of the highest paid because of the previous mining boom.
A slower growth Australian economy and a weaker dollar is expected to favour services industries more so than manufacturing or mining sectors.