One Third of Part-Time Workers Struggling to Find Full-Time Work, CareerBuilder Study Finds
PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Even as full-time, permanent employment gets closer to pre-recession levels, part-time workers are still struggling to find full-time jobs. According to a new CareerBuilder study, 32 percent of part-time workers say they want to work full time, but haven't been able to land a full-time job.

Of those, 31 percent say they are the sole breadwinner in their household, and 39 percent say they struggle to make ends meet financially. One in four part-time workers who want full-time jobs said they currently work two or more jobs.

The nationwide survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from August 11 to September 5, 2014 and included a representative sample of 301 part-time workers across industries and company sizes.

"Though we're seeing an uptick in full-time, permanent hiring, many workers are still having difficulty finding positions in their field of expertise," says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. "For some, a part-time job is just a means to a paycheck; for others, it's a preferred work arrangement or stepping stone. Those looking to make the transition to full-time employment should approach a part-time job as an opportunity to learn a new skill set, make new professional connections or explore a new career path. In addition, they should seek out companies they are interested in working for and join their talent networks so they will be first to hear about new job openings with those companies."

The Struggle for Full-Time Work
When asked why they believe they have struggled to find a full-time job, part-time workers looking for full-time work gave the following responses:

  • There aren't as many jobs available in my field as there were pre-recession: 54 percent
  • I don't have the skills necessary for in-demand jobs: 51 percent
  • I haven't looked for full-time jobs on a regular basis: 31 percent
  • I don't have the education needed: 29 percent

The majority of these workers (62 percent) say they would be willing to work without pay for an organization for a period of time to prove the value they can bring as a full-time employee.

The Financial – and Physical – Toll on Part-Time Workers
The inability to find full-time work has affected not only workers' financial situations, but their lifestyles and even their health. When asked to choose from a list of experiences they have had as a result of their struggles, part-time workers who say they want full-time work cited the following:

  • Downgraded to save money (e.g. traded in for a cheaper car, canceled cable, moved to a smaller home): 31 percent
  • Had to borrow money from family or friends: 29 percent
  • Suffered from depression: 23 percent
  • Moved back home with parents: 22 percent
  • Went into high credit card debt: 17 percent
  • Experienced health issues: 14 percent

Educational Breakdown
Of the part-time workers who say they want to work full time, 27 percent have a four-year degree or higher, 8 percent have an associate degree, 18 percent have had some college and 7 percent have participated in a job-specific training program after high school. Forty percent have a high school degree or less.

The Appeal of Part-Time Work
Though many workers are relying on part-time work to help pay the bills, many simply want to work part time, and a significant number enjoy the flexibility part-time work offers. Among the reasons workers said they took on a part-time job are: 

  • I needed a paycheck: 47 percent
  • I want to work part time: 43 percent
  • I like the flexibility of a part-time job: 36 percent
  • I'm working part time while attending school: 22 percent
  • I'm working part time while I take care of family: 16 percent
  • I want to gain experience in this particular field: 5 percent

Thirty-seven percent of part-time workers say they receive benefits from their employers, and 1 in 10 (9 percent) enjoy the same benefits as full-time workers.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 301 U.S. part-time workers (employed part-time, not full-time) between ­­August 11 and September 5, 2014 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 301, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling error of +/- 5.65 percentage points.  Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit


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SOURCE CareerBuilder