Blog with Rob: The new full time is part time.

I recently read an interesting article about more than 20 million Americans who are working less than 35 hours a week for “non-economic reasons,” according to the BLS.  Two-thirds of the 20 million are working part time because they have family obligations, are attending school, or are semiretired. But the remaining 6 million Americans are choosing to work part time because they don’t want to commit to one job or one employer.  Yes, you read that correctly.  This is not a fluke either; the number of workers choosing part time work have increased 12 percent since 2007.

So who are these workers?  For the first two thirds, some of them are like my executive assistant, who opted to come back to work on a flexible schedule after having a baby. For the 6 million who are non-committal, not surprisingly they are usually young and college educated. It seems that many are opting not to follow the full time career paths of their parents and instead follow their dreams (whatever those may be) while working part time to pay the bills.

What’s a company to do with this growing trend? Well, the big companies are already reacting to a changing job market. By 2020, as much as 40 percent of the workforce may toil part time, according to Mike Preston, Deloitte’s chief talent officer. That has led companies like Deloitte and Ford Motor to create jobs for part time workers.  New companies like SnagAJob, FlexJobs and Working Not Working were created to help place part time workers in positions.  For a smaller company, consider how to easily break a position down into a part time position, potentially transferring some of the job responsibilities elsewhere. This may open your job up to a whole new pool of workers.

Either way, it’s an interesting trend that bears watching. For all of us business owners, big or small, this trend has the potential to dramatically reshape the job market.

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Rob Basso is a recognized small business expert, successful business owner and entrepreneur.

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