Part time work reaches post-pandemic peak

Nearly 10 million (9.8 million) people are working in part time or temporary jobs - the highest number recorded since the start of the pandemic.

Research from flexible working marketplace Indeed Flex showed people have an increasing preference for part time work over permanent roles, with Office of National Statistics (ONS) data showing that 70% of part time workers don't want full time jobs.

The number of workers signed up to the Indeed Flex platform to find part time work in May 2022 is also up 178.5% from the same time last year.

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Novo Constare, COO and co-founder of Indeed Flex, said flexibility of part time work may make it more appealing. 

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “Temporary work appeals to a wide range of people for a lot of reasons. It can pay well compared to a comparable permanent job, which makes it especially appealing in the current climate.

“Temps typically find they can get shifts that fit in with their schedule, and this allows them to work where and when they want. The current shortage of workers in industries that rely heavily on temps - such as logistics and hospitality - means flexible staff are more in demand than ever, and they are a lifeline for businesses unable to find enough staff to fill their vacant roles."

Job vacancies in reached 1.3 million in June according to ONS data, and companies are struggling to fill roles.

The ongoing cost of living crisis may also be motivating people to seek out part time work to boost their income.

The research found 23% of low income workers were seeking part time jobs, while an additional 40% planned to do so in the next year. 

Constare added that the chance to work for multiple employers also appealed to part time workers.

He said: “Some people also enjoy the variety that comes with working for multiple employers, as it allows them to meet new people and learn new skills.

“If there’s one thing that our Flexers have in common, it’s that they tend to be highly motivated self-starters, who want to be in control of their own schedule and career - this is what attracts many of them to the temping lifestyle in the first place, and is also what helps them thrive in it."