An analysis using data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) shows that only 14 per cent of part-time employees are eager to work full-time. These are often employees who are already working almost full-time and want to extend their working week by a few hours. In the vast majority of cases, these are unskilled jobs. The same applies to employees who express a general desire to increase their working hours. Almost half of part-time employees are able to make the desired transition to full-time employment within a period of three years. Of the half who fail, only 46 per cent retain their original wish to work full-time, leaving a proportion of only 22 per cent who are unable to move into full-time employment yet continue to want to. This group of people represents 0.9 per cent of all employees. After three years, two thirds of those employees who have a general desire to extend their working hours have either achieved this aim or reduced the number of hours they wish to work – for example, due to their personal circumstances. These findings fail to confirm the assumption of a large number of permanently unfulfilled requests for longer working hours. Nor can it be determined whether personal or institutional reasons lie behind the failure of employees to extend their working hours. It may well be that there is no demand for the additional labour they offer – especially where unskilled jobs are concerned.
The Working Time Wishes of Dependent Employees: A Longitudinal Study
With what it calls bridging part-time work, the Federal Government wants to make it easier for parttime employees to return to full-time employment. The implicit assumption behind this initiative is that there are many part-time workers whose desire for full-time work remains unfulfilled.
- Holger Schäfer ·
- IW-Trends No. 3 ·
- 5 October 2018