About 20 percent of working Americans have a part-time job where they work less than 35 hours a week. Whether you work part time or full time is often influenced by age and gender. About 78 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds and 29 percent of people 55 and older work a part-time job, whereas only 20 percent of workers 25 to 54 are part-time employees, according to government data. In addition, more women (33 percent) than men (20 percent) hold part-time employment.
Part-Time Job Market
Industries where a lot of workers have part-time jobs include:
Leisure and hospitality: 45 percent
Sales: 32 percent
Retail and wholesale: 31 percent
Office and administrative: 28 percent
Education and health services: 28 percent
With the exception of education and healthcare jobs, which almost always require at least some college coursework, most part-time jobs require only a high school diploma.
The recession increased the number of people who wanted to work full time but could find only part-time work. That was especially true for teens and young adults, less-educated workers, African American and Hispanic men, blue-collar workers, and people 65 and older, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says.
The median part-time salary was $226 per week in the second quarter of 2012, according to the BLS. There are some careers where at least 20 percent of the workers are part time and earn $30 or more per hour (in 2006 dollars): dentists, pharmacists, art directors, physical therapists, chiropractors and dental hygienists.